Monday, October 06, 2008

Cutting costs


Although we are managing to survive with this looming financial crisis, this month was the first time we've noticed it being a bit of a squeeze. Pete got paid last Tuesday, and he earns a good wage - way above average, and the whole lot is gone on bills. I'm going to have to borrow £200 from somewhere(probably my wonderful boss), just to make it through to my payday on the 18th. All we did was pay things like council tax, electric bills, fill up the car, buy some food...it's getting ridiculous.

I've subconsciously cut down our shopping over the last few weeks, so now we are buying hardly any meat, and I've stopped buying fruit and have been picking it outside as much as possible(our wild apples near the school are delicious!). I'm not sure how else I can save money. I won't compromise on organic milk and free range eggs, I'd rather go without(in fact, we have stopped buying eggs so much and are making a dozen last a month now), and I try to make bread whenever I get the time - which is not very often.

I might have to start buying value brand washing powder and cleaning stuff, which is absolute crap, I may as well not bother to clean at all. Anyone found any bargains, or stuff that actually works? If I use anything other that Bold 2in1 then the many stains don't come out of the kids uniforms, and if I don't use Domestos bleach then my toilets end up looking like something from a horror movie. I am already tightfisted with this kind of stuff, I only buy Zoflora to do all the other cleaning jobs. It's only about 70p and you can use it for just about anything(floors, surfaces, toilets, animal cages). I also refuse to buy fabric softener, we just have to put up with crunchy clothes! I'm not sure what else to do.

We were supposed to be moving around Christmas time, mainly to get the extra room, but also to get Ryan nearer to his school and get us into a nicer area. Now we are not so sure it's wise. We are very lucky to be in a secure position here with a small mortgage, and both our jobs are safe(well, if my centre gets closed I'll get transferred so technically will keep my wage), but I'm not sure I feel comfortable going out there in the big wide world and renting a home off someone who might not be so secure. I'd hate to move and get settled, with a newborn baby, then find out our landlord has declared bankruptcy, or been forced to raise our rent or sell the property. I think we might be more sensible building the extra rooms here and waiting it out. In two years when Ryan has finished school, we can go wherever we like.

Decisions, decisions...

2 comments:

Dan said...

I've found in Asda over the last couple of weeks, Surf concentrated wwashing liquid is £3 a bottle and works really well - Jaysen usually wears his food and it gets it all out. Asdas own - not value - softener is 98p a bottle and smells very nice :)

Washing Up liquid - 3 bottles for £2 for Children in Need or something.

Asdas own brand bleach also works pretty well, and comes in Fresh Fragrance chlorine, Lavender Fragrance chlorine, and about three other versions of chlorine, but leaves the toilet clean.

Tea and Coffee is usually on some sort of offer as well - Mellow Birds a couple of weeks back and I think the powder latte/cappuccino stuff last week...

Otherwise, it's a case of wander up and down the aisles and see what you can find. Think you should start a support group where we let everyone know about bargains we find - its that or venture into Farmfoods, Aldi, Lidl or whatever else lurks out there with WUNDéRBA von CLEANERS type labels ;)

Thursday said...

I'm a Zoflora girl too - love the stuff. I hope you're diluting it - if not, try mixing it with water in an empty spray gun thing. I now buy own brand washing powder which seems to work well although I'm not dealing with children's clothes but I AM dealing with muddy gardening clothes. How about splashing out on a Vanish stain remover prewash spray as well as trying an own brand washing powder - the combination might be enough to keep the kids uniforms OK.
Lentils are good for padding out one pot meals (spag bog, chillis, etc,) as well as the likes of shepherd's pies which I make without meat anyway.
Sounds like a good garden plan for the vegetables is in order to maximise use of space and growing season next year.