Friday, 13 June 2014

Meal Planning

  Occasionally I fall of the meal planning wagon and it proves extremely expensive when  I do. So each week I am going to post our weekly meal plan even going to hang a list up in the kitchen to keep me focused and to prevent any further falling off the wagon again.

FRIDAY -Chicken wraps fajita style

SATURDAY- Jacket potatoes, beans and sausages

SUNDAY-  Scouse

MONDAY- New potatoes, chargrilled chicken and veggies

TUESDAY- Fish , chips and peas

WENSDAY- Chicken casserole and root mash

THURSDAY- Spaghetti Bolginase ( more jacket potatoes for the pasta haters)

 We only have puddings randomly otherwise  we go over the food budget and am desperately trying not to give my family too many empty calories I want their food to be filling and nutritious so they benefit from eating and not just a quick fix .This time last year I was a rubbish cook now am a little better than rubbish I have more confidence in my cooking abilities too and learnt how to make a few new dishes. My pocket and the families health have benefited I do still buy// make the odd treat for the little darlings buts its a treat not an expectation now. I haven't branched out into using pulses though because them little darlings are really fussy though am sure I will try them eventually. Who knows one day I may post all their fussy eating habits and see what frugal meals my blogging friends can come up with for them!

Stay frugal peeps

J x


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Back to blogging!

 Hi everybody I have really neglected this blog for months now and  now hopefully am back on track and will try and post at least several times a week .  I always found blogging helped me to stay focused on a more frugal lifestyle helping me to stretch the pennies as far as possible.  My lovely readers always share their tips too and i just love reading peoples responses. I cant believe i haven't actively blogged for so long. But you know how it is I have been working so much there simply wasn't the time.  Well am back now to the world of blogging and hope my readers will return !  I have been checking in on my friends blogs which I thoroughly enjoy reading  and am always hunting out new ones.

 Today was shopping day and yes as always I visited my trusted local aldi store. I can not believe I used to shop elsewhere it makes me cross to think of how much money I frittered away buying food in other supermarkets. I reckon considering the sheer amount of food my clan get through I save over £ 30 s a week shopping here combined with being very strict and buying minimal treats .That is £1560  a year  and not to be sniffed at. I used to have a shopping budget of £500 a month and have discovered that this is just impossible since the price of food keeps on rising and the kids appetite keeps on growing. It was getting that way I cud no longer bulk buy or stockpile certain items as the budget just wouldn't allow it. So now I have increased my budget by a whopping  £100. Its the only way  to combat the rise in food prices and the growing appetites! In the mean time am on a mission to come up with even more budget friendly meals that the little darlings will actually eat!

 I did have a slight fail on this morning shopping trip however and forgot to buy oil, so will have to pop to a another shop for that which will cost me even more money just goes to show the importance of that trusty shopping list without it I always forget something. I would of shown you guys a photo but had to take the opportunity to get all the shopping packed away sharpish while baby had a little snooze.

bye for now




Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Winters coming

        Winter will be here soon and what Have I done to prepare ABSOLUTELY  NOTHING  . Its getting so much colder now and I am trying hard to resist putting the heating to try and avoid using too much gas its so dam expensive now and we have a large house it takes a lot to keep it warm.So here  is how we are going to keep the bills down.

1) Wrap up warm with additional layers

2) bleed the radiators so when do have to switch the central heating on there heating to their full potential

3) 2 extra blankets on each bed

4) hot waterbottles to help keep us cosy

5) Superglue to glue my eldest childs bedroom window shut she wont keep it closed its driving me mad makes the whole of upstairs so cold ( only messing i would never do this one)

6)  I am looking into purchasing or making reflective sheets that fit behind the radiator to reflect the heat back into the room. Though i have read a couple of reviews that said these did not make much difference

7) go on a draft hunt and ensure any cracks are seeled right up and that all seals on external doors are in good repair

 I cant think of any more but hopefully these will keep us cosy just going to focus on filling the freezer and sorting out my car now as i drive quite a distance at night on my way home from work so tomorrow i will be checking oil , water etc and stashing some blankets and deicer in the boot just in case .

 What do you guys do to lower the fuel bills and prepare for winter?

    JEN X

p,S karen am doing well with my savings tin you would be proud

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Doing things my way!

 Inspiration has been running low in the ipie household and to be honest am just fustrated at having nothing to show for stretching the pennies except for paying off a couple of debts. So I have decided to start saving. Now I know this goes against the whole pay your debts off first then start saving due to interest on the debt being etc. But the only debt that there is interest on is the credit card which will remain a priority and regular additional payments will be paid as well as the minimum payment. And am not talking about saving huge amounts of cash just a little each week as am sure this will mount up,So that's my new plan i think this will be a bit more inspiring than just plugging away at the debts and help to keep the whole family focused on our ultimate goal . Hope all my blogging pals are keeping well x

 catch ya later

Sunday, 15 September 2013

I am finally mastering this cooking lark!

 As some of follows may know that am not really much of a cook and have been attempting to develop my limited cooking skills so here are a few of my  recent achievements .

 Am really please with this one took seconds to make and only half an hourr to cook am not sure what its actually called but its so yummy the kids scoffed the lot . I just tipped nearly a whole bag of spinach into a cooking dish chucked on  fve of aldi's finest chicken breasts and painted them in aldis stir in pasta sauce chucked them in the oven for half an hour on 190 and volia it was done i served this with homemade wedges and sweetcorn. Though unfortunately i cooked it for a few minutes too long  ( still yummy though) think 25 mins next time . Once served it was gone in a few minutes I didnt even have a chance to make it look nice for the finished photo
  DS1 was convinced he had super powers from the spinach and who was i to argue , Overall a big hit with the kids.

 Another thing i have mastered recently is a Roast chicken so when I found one whoopsied to just £3.00 I thought heres my chance to have a try with one. (hope your proud Sian) it already had seasoning on it  and i may over roasted it slighly

 The little darlings polished this off too am definatley on a roll with this cooking lark ! And last but not least here is my version of sausage casserole as everyone does it slightly differently. One pepper any colour sometimes two halves of different colors if we have had pizza early in the week. A load of mushrooms one onion and here is the cheating bit a packet of  Aldi sausage casserole mix . Now i know that its not exactly cooking from scratch but baby steps and all that.  
 Had chance to arrange this one for the photo check out my specially arranged carrots. Hope all my blogging friends are okay and karen i will defo get a photo of my lasagne especially for you!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Change for Life on a budget!

 Good afternoon my blogging friends. Well the little darlings went back to school this morning and I have signed all of them up to the Change for life Smart Restart.  One of the challenges is to have a totally healthy pack lunch you can choose often you want to participate in the challenges ( there is  all diffrent ones) we opted for 5 times a week. I feel this is really important especially as there all so fussy and will become less active as winter approaches.
  So Can I do it and stay within budget . So off I pop to my fave supermarket Aldi which is totally ACE. Its really reduced my food bill shopping here and they have such fab stuff too. Now once a month usually towards the end a national newspaper  has £5 off a £ 40 shop voucher for Aldi  which lasts for a week well I cheat a bit and buy two papers then the following week do my top up shop a  day early > Now £40 for a top up shop may seem a bit high for some of my readers but I am feeding a family of 8 and that dosen't come cheap.

So here is what I bought today
 That came to a grand total of £61.88 reduced to £56.43. I love food shopping and have been enjoying the whole food budget challenge. I think the most expensive thing is the chicken  i tend to buy breasts to save messing about butt one kilo costs £6.89 Now I know that is cheap  but Tesco have 3 whole chickens  for a £10 . So I think I best try some of these at this price I can use it to fill out the sandwiches add to pasta and salads and in the evening meals too. Now those of you that follow my blog know am nit much of a cook and I am embarrassed to say I have never cooked a whole chicken before so will have to do a bit of research. So any tip readers on how to stretch a chicken readers/?( And Karen if your about  how to cook it too)

bye for now

jx a

P.s Bought a few jars of baby food  a standby  I do normally make all baby Ipie meals .

Monday, 26 August 2013

Back to Blogging!

Good morning everyone hope you have been enjoying a lovely summer. Things have been extremely busy in the ipie household with 5 of the children off school  who need entertaining and working too I have negelected my little blog of late  Well now I am back to it my blog helps to keep me focused on stretching them pennies.

  I have actually come in under my shopping budget this month by £69.81 though there is three days left till the new budget begins and have accumulated 40 tins of baked beans not much but its a start and will hopefully contribute towards reducing my December budget freeing it up for Christmas, I think constantly not having to buy things for packed lunches has helped reduce it completely. Though are diet this month has not been as wholesome and nutritious as i would of liked to be honest . So my target for September will be to provided healthy packed lunches, stockpile and stay within the shopping budget . So come on give me all your ideas for CHEAP healthy packed lunches. food shopping should be easier this month as the little darlings are back in school in 10 days time!

   Lots of expenses this month too still have to replace bits of the little darlings uniform and desperately need a tumble dryer mine has broken beyond repair. Now using a tumble dryer may not seem very moineysaving but there is far too much laundry in our house not to have one despite using too clothes airers and line drying when ever possible its just not enough.  Think am going to have a very lean month in september.

 Were off to the local park this after noon for a healthy picnic  and a few games (determined to get the kids exercising for a n hour a day ) Then off to work for me . Hope you all have a nice bank holiday x

Catch ya later


Friday, 23 August 2013

Testing my Ability to blog from my phone have really neglected my little blog laely really need to get back on track!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Do You stock Pile?

 I used to stock pile a lot and how my family used to tease me. But it did save me a fortune  as i would only ever purchase bargainous offers and stopped me nipping to local shops. It also meant that we had plenty in stock.  Well I am going to start it again next month I have ran the cupboards and chest freezer right down to the bare minimum so nothing has gone to waste but I do keep nipping to the local Tesco and its pushing my food budget right up which is no good as I want to lower that. So my target for this month is to establish two months supply's of  tinned food,toiletries, laundry and cleaning products and to refill my chest freezer all with bargains though and attempt to stick to a  budget of £350 (usually £550 for the rest of the month. Then lower the budget the following month  to £ 500 whilst maintaining my stockpile if you see what I mean so by December I should be spending the bare minimum on groceries  to free up some cash for christmas!

  I will be mainly shopping at aldi and hunt around online for the best prices on all the other stuff I can not buy there e.g laundry detergent, Lots of bulk cooking too and focusing on reducing the waste. I will try and use as  many coupons as possible and collect a few Tesco club card points while am at it (hoping to get a few vouchers towards the uniforms). So will posting updates of my spends to ensure I stick to my target ! 

off to write a very long list


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Quick catch up

 Welcome to my new followers can't tell you  how pleased I am that I now have nine followers Yay! I haven't posted for a while due to a combination of reasons a broken laptop charger and limited time due to having been working lots recently.

 Things have been going well on the money saving front  closed My H &M account and have been making headway with that pesky credit card I am determined to have it gone by November. I just keep on focusing on the fact the more I pay the less interest I get charged. Will hopefully have a new charger next week and will then get back to ebaying a few bits to help towards lowering the balance.

  I have been trying to think of ways to help pay for expenses such as  Christmas have started doing daily surveys to try to earn amazon vouchers to pay towards the children s presents this year. I am aiming too earn as much as I can as I am so determined to be prepared this year and not spend a small fortune on presents.. Will start to hunt out some toys in the charity shops/ car boot for the little ones so that should save quite a bit. Am becoming obsessed with saving money at the moment so I cant start saving for our new house. I recently found a blog called
 This lady has done amazingly well  saving towards her new home I really admire her determination  she is really focused and the amount she has saved shows it!

 Well thats all for now Baby Ipie is trying to eat the laptop. Hope your all doing well with the thriftinessx


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Clearing the Clutter!

 Haven't had a good day today only gone and lost my mobile phone sometime between getting up and going on the school rum. So cross with myself as I am waiting for a very important phone call plus the phone was on silent mode still from work the previous evening. The whole family have hunted high and low for the dam thing , I have moved furniture. emptied cupboards I even went as far as going through the bin and still can't find the dam thing.

  It has highlighted to me however the amount of unnecessary stuff we posses. So starting tomorrow there will be 3 Large boxes labeled Ebay, Charity and Bin and i will be trawling through every cupboard, nook , cranny and surface decluttering every room like a woman possessed .  I often take a bag of stuff to the charity shop and have even done the cash for clothes in the past but now its time to get RUTHLESS!  If I haven't used it in the past 6 months and wont be using it in the next 6 months its going!

   Hopefully this will save me a great deal of time in the future and I may actually find that wretched phone in the process. there will be less to tidy up, it will be far easier to locate the  things that we need. Plus the proceeds of anything sold on Ebay will go towards paying off the credit card.

Thanks for reading 

     J x

Monday, 6 May 2013

Getting organised

 Having reflected on my fails in stretching the pennies this morning its becoming increasingly obvious that the key to success is being  extremely organised! things have been a bit hectic recently and its time to sort it out. So here's my plan!

* check the  Bank accounts every day

* Pay the cost of a packet of fags off a bill each day ( motivational purpose as well as killing the bills)

*Buy the eldest two children a bus pass every Friday That will save me £240 a year that,s is a significant saving

*Do one main shop once a week and stick to my grocery budget

* Have an Ebay Selling session once a week all proceeds from which will go towards paying off the credit card.

* Buy one Christmas/ Birthday Present a week   and stash them away. Am trying to avoid any huge outgoings and with six children Christmas gets very expensive

* open a savings account( emergency fund) and deposit  a little money each month even if it is just £5   again this is to help motivate me and for any unexpected bills

 Well thats all for today not very exciting I know But will all make a positive contribution towards busting them bills taking us a step close to our dream! I cant wait to start seriously saving just need to get rid of them pesky bills first!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

babies, business and battling nicotine!

 Well things are certainly looking up in the Ipie house we have our car back at last will save my poor legs from walking everywhere and my purse from taxi costs.

 I have been busy bulk cooking away including 16 pots of sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrot babyhood for baby Ipie. I have saved myself a fortune doing this I cant believe the price of a tiny jar of baby food 88p a jar and I made 16 pots for less than £2.50. Tomorrow I will be making another 16 pots of cheesy mash and broccolli. She loves the homemade food and pulled a face when I gave her a taste of the jar food. Not only am I saving myself a fortune doing this its by far healthier for her. I also managed to buy her a highchair for £10 in the local childrens Barnardos shop .

On the fag free and fabulous front had a bit of a fail and had a sneaky fag so cross with myself for doing this what a waste of all my hard work.  I really need to maintain my motivation for this so will have to start posting daily to maintain my motivation as blogging really does help to maintain my focus! I am going to pay the cost of a packet against a bill daily too to help with the whole motivation thing too.

 I have also been thinking for a while now about ways to up my income I already do online surveys and hope to step this up a bit to start a little Christmas fund as it becomes very expensive for Santa to visit  six children. I am also going to sell a few of the girls posh frocks they have grown out of there is no point in having a designer dress in the wardrobe collecting dust that will never be worn again. The proceeds of which will all go towards getting rid of my credit card!

 I am also setting up a small business to try and bring a third income in to the house watch this space.... I will be launching the business in June. I really don't expect anything at first and only intend to start of small but hopefully the business will grow and bring in a few extra pennies. I am really nervous about starting up this venture and first thought of it six months ago hopefully it will work out for me fingers crossed.

 Hope all my readers are keeping well and what do you do to up your income?

   J X

Sunday, 28 April 2013


  Stepping up my money saving today time to give up smoking I have kept using the excuse that I become stressed . Well no more today is the day I become Fag free and fabulous. I have been for a quick visit to the smoking cessation clinic earlier  in the week and am fully equipped with patches and a inhalator.  I just need to stay focused on the fact that I stand to gain nothing from smoking apart from an empty purse and bad health.
  Am not sure what to do with the money I will be saving I have considered putting it in a pot/ saving account daily but think it may be better used paying off a bill so I think I will be making a small payment to day off something  because then I will also be saving the interest that the lovely companies keep applying and will be much better off that way. I just need to stay strong !



Saturday, 27 April 2013

Menu Planning

     Haven't been doing very well of the frugal front this past week thought I would start reaping the rewards of my efforts by now but it appears not. So time to step up stretching the pennies. I have spent an absolute fortune on taxis home from work this week as my car is off the road and its far too late for a bus by the time I finish work on the plus side of things I am definitely getting fitter having to walk everywhere.  Hopefully my car will be repaired on wednsday and  I will feel the benefit of my frugal ways as I am not spending all my cash on taxis.

 Being off the road has also affected grocery spending haven't been able to do a big shop and have to keep nipping to the local Tesco which is never a good thing. I am more of an aldi/ Lidl kinda girl, unfortunately there is no local store  and I would not be able to carry it anyway. So I have had to make do with the local shops, as well as using up odds and ends. Though it did actually make me meal plan .

 This week menu was

Monday: Beans/ Spaghetti on toast

Tuesday: Roasted new potatoes, Roasted Veg and garlic chicken

Wednesday: Home made burgers/ Salad

Thursday:  Homemade pizza using Frugal in Bucks pizza dough recipe ant believe how easy this  is to make had already tried the recipe on the previous Saturday so knew it would be a success with the children. I just chucked what ever we had in on the top and used a jar or tesco value pasta sauce (40p) to coat the bases with (must get round to making a load and freezing it for next time) and  put a few veggies on too. I made 3 good size pizzas which fed us all though they were slightly misshaped.

Friday : Take a way night had to get a sitter to mind the little darlings as mine and my OH shifts over lapped and I couldn't expect her to cook as well as mind the kids

Saturday: Jacket potatoes with various fillings

Sunday :Roast gammon dinner.

I am  going to batch cook and freeze next week that takeaway isn't getting any more money off me in the near future. Off out to buy some eggs later too so I can get cracking on some baking some treats for the children's lunches next week. Trying to stick to the cash only theme for food hoping it will get easier when I am mobile again will save me so much time and money when I can track down the bargains! I am off to hunt down some more  quick and cheap recipes that the kids will eat
to save valuable time on a work nights x Whats your cheap and easy meal ideas?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


 Haven,t posted in a while been very busy working and decorating (frugal style) Hope all my blogger friends are keeping well and saving their pennies.  There I was this morning catching up on blogs when there was a knock at the door and the postie hands me a large parcel containing these...

 Which I had won on Pams blog by naming a quilt she was making as you can see they are fabulous and look wonderful on my couch. I was so pleased with them both (I originally only won 1 but Pam treated me to a second). I really recommend Pam's blog shes full of good ideas and is very creative. Her timing couldn't of been better either  as I really needed something nice to dress the room up a bit. My eldest girls have all been trying to sweet talk me into giving them the cushions . No Way there all mine!

 As for the decorating its been done on a budget only been painting so far ( Own brand paint of course) and having a huge clear out and rearranging rooms. Its made such a diffrence and cant wait to get started on the  next room. As said before I just need to really dress the rooms a little now on a very strict budget so scouring for bargains and having a good look at the car boot sales will begin tomorrow .

 How do you decorate your home on a strict budget? Any tips you would like to share?

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Money Saving March

 Hi everyone
  Thanks for reading my blog I really appreciate it, I know I haven't posted for a day or too but things have been manic here and desperately trying to finish off a big piece of work and a big welcome to  Pam . Anyway I hope you all continue to read and post comments x

Here's ten Things I have done this month to stretch them pennies

1) Set  a very strict grocery Budget of £ 550 and actually coming in under budget at £498.43 was so pleased with myself stores are a little low though.

2) Cooked from Scratch. 

3) Used my slow cookers.

4) Cooked in bulk saving time and money!

6) Baked cakes and pasties.

7) Used my frugal shopping and baking to provide a Birthday treat for my lovely niece.

8 ) Bagged myself a few whoopsie bargains to stretch the budget even more.

9) Created my grocery spending diary to monitor prices/ value

10) Freezer inventory so I know exactly what I have got and what we actually need to buy.

 As You can see There all based around the grocery budget but felt I needed to master this before  starting  a new stage in my money saving/ thriftiness and i was successful and came in over £ 50 under budget. This has really fired me up and this blog really does help keep me focused and enthusiastic  times are hard at the moment but hopefully it wont be too long till I really start to make even more significant progress in reducing outgoings.
  What have you done this month to stretch them pennies. Where did you make the most significant savings? What kept you focused? When did you start to make significant progress?

        Jen x

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

27th March

 Hi everyone , sorry I never posted yesterday have just been so busy preparing to return to work

Let myself down a little recently with my money saving. Today only, I spent £30 on an emergency birth certificate as i mislaid the original, £12 on petrol and then realized i needed new shoes for work too!  Its costing me a fortune to go to work!

But things got better I found out that the lovely Karen is feeling better ( I love checking out her blog and looking at all the beautiful things she makes) and thrifty living is still about and blogging  so pleased to hear that too. I find it really inspiring to read other peoples thrifty blogs and find out what works for them.

Things got slightly better now I have my penny pinching on, went  to check out the whoopsies  at our local shop and found some real bargains......

  • 5 loaves of bread x 20p
  • 2 packets of 6 ice buns x 24p
  • 3 large pizzas x 63p
 I love a bargain as we all do but really cheap whoopsies are few and far between now so was really pleased with my find  shame there was no meat but you cant have everything.

 I have also completed the freezer inventory and its looking much tidier and emptier now. Got quite a bit of meat including 6 whole packets of lean minced beef will probably just make bolignise, burgers and a sheperds pie. I am a bit stuck with what to do with the rest of the mince, meatballs are out the question I have several packets of them too. What do you make out of mince that's cheap and easy to prepare? And what inspires you to be thrifty?

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Budget Birthday

      A super busy day here two birthday party's in one afternoon! I spent the entire morning decorating fairy cakes for my nieces birthday and my icing bag split so the cakes frosting does look a little rustic. 

  Now I was a little low on funds to buy a gift for her this year so my sister I would make some food to contribute towards the party. I made 24 chocolate chip cookies now i did struggle to get these cookies in to a decent shape before baking but they did taste delicious 
 Does anybody remember when a national newspaper gave a way an Iceland coupon a day for a week. Well I took full advantage of this offer and the grand sum of £12.00 acquired £70 worth of party food. Now I know  this is not the most desired party nibbles but it has proven to be a reliable source of party food when time is an issue and I would so do it again. The only downside is it took me forever to cut the dam coupons out. So I also donated  a few packs of that too. Unfortunately whilst my sister was cooking it she got a bit distracted and some of it was a little well done but perfectly edible.

 I also found this Bargain One Direction cake whoopsied for  £2.26 one evening last week and popped it in the freezer to save for my nieces birthday. I was a little concerned the icing would be damaged by freezing it but it was in perfect condition and my lovely niece was absolutely thrilled. Not as thrilled as my sister though who got a fab little party spread free. I really enjoyed doing this though all that baking was a bit time consuming it did save me the cost of a present and everyone appreciated the effort I went to. It got to me thinking about future birthdays and how I could create a present for minimal cost that would be really appreciated   I was considering something crafty. I am not particularly good with my hands so it would have to be something simple. Do you make birthday presents and what do you make?

Friday, 22 March 2013


 Not much to report today regarding money saving Except the sudden expense of having to replace my windscreen wipers this evening. I had just dropped DD3 off at a party when the wiper just popped off and somehow I managed to snap the connector whilst trying to repair  the dam thing. Unfortunately though it had been snowing not to heavily on and off all day ( never get decent snow here normally) So there I was stuck in the snow with no wipers at that point the snow starts to come down heavier ! It was to far to walk so I ended up sat in a freezing car for nearly three hours in the snow. Till my friend manged to get some wipers to me it was very kind of her I wouldn't have driven in that snow unless I really had too. Well  by the time i got home  baby Ipie was not impressed at having to wait for  her bath.
 I am just so grateful I had left her at home on this occasion. Anyway it has highlighted to me that my poor car needs some tlc and unfortunately I am a bit too poor this week to put it in for a service so am considering putting it away in the garage for a couple of weeks. I cant risk anything else going wrong with it and getting stranded with the kids somewhere . It also highlighted to me that I need to start a  car fund and put a little away in it  each month to pay for general repairs,service, mot etc.  So when things do go wrong with It I can actually afford to get the work done straight away. Does anyone else have a spefic car fund? Or know any good breakdown rescue deals?

Thursday, 21 March 2013

My 72 fairy cakes!

 Thanks to everyone who left such lovely comments and  welcome to my lovely followers . Also a great big thank you to Karen who helped me resolve a technical issue and install Google follower on my blog. I had been trying for absolutely ages and couldn't find the gadget to install it.

  Had another productive morning making 72 plain fairy cakes using the same food processor that my mum used when we were kids( still works perfectly 27 years later).  Haven't made these for ages and 72 may sound like a lot but I did give a dozen to my sister  for her children and then froze 2 dozen for pack lunches . We scoffed the rest for part of our after school snack and for pudding( think I need to work on my portion control). I never added any icing as i was a little unsure of how it would freeze and felt they would be far healthier without it and the best part is they only cost about £2 to make. Where else can you get 72 cakes for £2! I used to spend about £5 a week on lunchbox snacks for the children. Now I can just go freezer diving.

  There,s not much else to report on the thrifty front as time was limited today as I had to go and watch my daughters Easter performance and then take the children to an after school club. The plus side to my busy day is that I haven't actually brought anything so grocery spends remain the same and neither have I thrown anything away.  Go me ! I will get the inventory completed tomorrow and create my grocery spending diary. Off to bed now its really cold here and we are expecting heavy snow.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

 Obtainable Goals

  Today I have been reading a few other peoples blogs and have noticed how much people have achieved with their money saving ways. While this has inspired me its also highlighted the fact that   the thrifty changes in our behavior need implementing one step at a time in order for them to be successful and balance against other demands on my time. So I am going to address one problem at a time .

 It is well known amongst frugal folk that grocery shopping for a family is very expensive and when you have two adults and six children in the house that becomes very very expensive.  My current grocery budget is £550 a month but that does included formula and nappies for baby Ipie,pack lunches for 5 children as well as all toiletries and cleaning products. I am determined to come in under budget and so far this month have spent the grand total of £340.45 on these items. I do however have a jam packed chest freezer, two full cupboards and two bowls of fruit.  I need to stop shopping but there always seem to be something we need like bread or loo rolls so out I pop to the shops .  I think the key thing here is to get organised and to plan ahead to keep me out of the shops by compiling an inventory, batch cooking and a grocery spending diary so next time I do the huge shop  I will actually be buying the stuff we actually need for the best price.!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

 A Spot of Baking

 Yesterday morning proved to be extremely productive!  Using the pastry that my eldest daughter had made at school (previously I would of  chucked it in the bin) I  manged to make these jam tarts and it only took me five minutes to prepare!

 All it took was a quick roll out of the pastry and chuck in a few spoonfuls of jam (basic range of course) and Voila a dozen snacks for the children who were extremely pleased scoffing the lot. There was a little bit of pastry left over so in a true money saving style I made a couple of Cheese and onion pasties for lunch .
 Now I am not much of a cook  so am really pleased  with the results here and hopefully with practice my baking will improve

 Inspired with the results of my baking session I then got out my two slow cookers and made bolognese and  scouse .   I  really tried to stretch the bolognese sauce out and added two cartons of passta, two whole punnets of  reduced price mushrooms, onion, garlic, mixed herbs and 300 grams of mince.  It was lovely and made a nice change of not having to cook in the evening. Another bonus was there was enough left to feed us all again. So i popped it in an ice cream tub and froze it for another day.

  Now this may seem like an obvious thing to do to others but I did  generally leave the cooking to my other half  not any more. I am going to continue to experiment with healthy recipes and bulk cooking in an effort to lower my food bill and improve the health of famyil

Monday, 18 March 2013

 Not a good start to my blogging but no time to post today had to go and look after my little sister. Will update my blog tomorrow and post some photos of my busy morning!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

First ever blog!

Hey its my first ever attempt at blogging so expect a few hitches while I get use to it. I am a mother of six children of varying ages and have decided that enough is enough and really need to become more financially savvy. This blog is going to chart our family's journey in scrimping and saving towards paying off the credit card and towards our new home.
   I was inspired to create this blog by frugal themed bloggers who have achieved so much with their thriftiness . My main theme till I start my new job will be old style money saving in the home and living as cheaply as possible till I start my new job. Thanks for reading so far and keep a look out for my daily posts i Promise they will become more interesting!