[Money) A Funny Old Week

Lots of no spend days last week,  in fact although I moaned about my friend saying she would meet me for an all day breakfast at £4.95 with cup of tea included, it turned out to be the only day I actually spent any money!

Mon – No spend.

Tuesday – No spend.

Wednesday – Bus Fare £4, Blow Dry with Junior Training £5, All Day Breakfast £4.95.  Total £13.95.

Thursday – No spend.

Friday – No spend. We don’t do Valentines in this house.

Saturday – No spend.

Sunday – No spend.

Another funny old week of no late night Supermarket bargain hunting and no cheap flowers bought at all last week but I did have a bunch bought by a friend so that saved even more money, thank you S!

I find the easiest way to achieve lots of no spend days is to steer completely clear of the shops!  Once in town and it becomes a different story, I pop into Boots to look on their clearance shelf, I look at clothes, always on the hunt for a bargain, I’m tempted by coffee shops and caramel latte’s so by keeping away from the town centre definitely works for me.  How do you manage to achieve your no spend days and do you have to keep away from the shops to achieve them?

 

[Money] Frugal Things That Have Made Me Happy This Week

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Using up leftovers from the Lamb  joint to make curry. Yummy.

Getting a Blow Dry for £5 from a junior overseen by a senior stylist at my regular salon.

Meeting friends for lunch.  I thought I was just going to her house but received a  text saying she would meet me at a local pub for an all day breakfast for £4.95 which includes tea or coffee and finished off by using the word “bargain”.  I wasn’t happy initially as I had just paid £5 for my hair and £4 for my bus fare that day but reluctantly went to the cashpoint and withdrew another £10, so mixed emotions really although it  made a nice change and was a very good breakfast.

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Free perfume samples.  These always come in handy. I pop them in my bag, ideal for freshening up if you are out and don’t want to carry a bottle of scent, plus it’s a great way to try fragrances you may not have had before.

A friend arriving with tulips.  I love tulips and is my first bunch this year.

Oh and you know the holiday I told you about in my last post, well it turns out hubby used some of our Avios points and got £72 off our BA return journey which only cost us £63 in total to get home in addition to our £32.99 each to fly out! Funny how he forgot to tell me about this and I know we have to wait until the end of August for our getaway but with this awful weather, all I can think about is sunshine, beaches and laying round the pool!

Have a safe weekend and I hope you haven’t been too badly affected by our adverse weather  conditions.  I really wish me and the kids were going somewhere warm for half term but sadly not!

Midweek Moneysaver

Fabulous Winter Travel Offers for you!

TRAVEL INSURANCE –  I normally always use a comparison site for my travel insurance but Debenhams have some great deals on at the moment with  single trip policies from just £4.99 plus free gift cards on various policies including travel, life and wedding insurance. Terms and conditions apply but you can find out more here. For example, I can get an annual family of three multi-trip policy for just £34 and get a free £10 gift card, so it is worth getting a quote and kids go free!

FAMILY AND FRIENDS RAIL CARD – If your looking to save money on rail fares over the next 12 months, the Family and Friends rail card has £10 off until 24th February making it just £20.  You have to have at least one child with you when you travel but you can save a 1/3rd on fares. Get further details here.

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FREE STUFF – I’ve been pretty lucky this week, first up a friend gave me two little Molton Brown samples that she got from the Department store she works in. They went straight into the holiday drawer as they are the perfect size for travelling abroad with hand luggage only (which means restrictions of sizes and amounts of liquids you can take) or weekend and overnight stays.

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My second freebie was a £10 beauty gift voucher which came in the goodie bag I got from a new hair salon launch party. I just need to decide whether to put it towards a pedicure or a facial, decisions, decisions! I also got some Goldwell shampoo and conditioner samples and a small pot of hair gel, not that anyone uses it in this house, so along with a couple of glasses of bubbly and a cupcake, it was worth going!

What are your best deals of the week?

 

January Spend, Lessons Learned And Frugal February

 

Food:- £231.27.  Not bad for a family of four. My greatest success was last Sundays pork joint feeding us for three days and a couple of late night supermarket trips where I picked up lots of veggies which were made into soups etc

Utilities – Key Meters:- Gas: £70.00. Electricity £95.00. Always trying to be careful with our gas and electricity costs and consumption. Shame the rest of the family aren’t so good at it! Roll on summer when these costs will go down considerably! I know that the washing machine and tumble dryer use the bulk of the monthly costs but I refuse point blank to have wet washing hanging around the house after once reading it was bad for your lungs! I only dry things on an airer that can’t be tumbled dried as I always read the labels in an effort to look after our clothes.

Socialising:- £16.20. Lunch out with friends at a Brewers Fayre where meals were 2 for £10 and a top up Diet Pepsi was £2.35.  A bite to eat and drink last Sunday night at a local pub where my bar meal was £4.95 and I spent £3.90 on drinks.

Other:- £57.59. I bought two No7 Protect and Perfect gift sets in the Boots 70% off sale £4.80 each reduced from £16..  I bought 10 birthday cards for £1 in an effort to never get caught without a card! I bought a birthday card for a relatives birthday and put £10 in it.  I get my hair hi-lighted roughly every six weeks and that cost me £36 including blow dry.

Lessons Learned

Food: More than happy with the amount spent and the quality of food we eat. Will take advantage of half price meat deals in an effort to get more out of a roast dinner.

Utilities: Actually astonished by the gas and electricity costs, lets see how I can get it down for Frugal February.

Socialising: Very happy with the amount spent. I don’t go out often so there will be months with a zero spend.

Frugal February has kicked off with two no spend days so far and enough on the meters to last us a good few days yet!

How is your Frugal February going?

[Eating Out] 2 meals for £10, Who Knew?

Food And Drink Hero Image

I have  to admit I had never been to a Brewers Fayre pub/restaurant before and when I was invited out to lunch with a group of girls for a friends birthday, I was a little apprehensive to be honest and really concerned about the money I would spend as I have also been invited out on Sunday to catch up with one  of my best friends who is home for the weekend.

I only had to see the 2 for £10 section of the lunch menu and I soon had a smile on my face.  Everyone  else seemed to be ordering from these specials, so with a glass of pepsi which you can refill as often as you wish, it was a total win, win.

I ordered the fish and chips (well it was Friday) and it was really nice. I liked the look of everything else that was ordered, smothered chicken, curry, sausage and mash etc and even though they also have a small selection of desserts on special also, I was really good and didn’t have one, so spent a grand total of £7.35 and had a good three hours of laughter and chat with friends, priceless.

Brewers  Fayre also do  a loyalty card system where you can swap points for food, certainly worth picking one up if you eat there regularly. Find out more here.

I had allocated £30 for both events this week and to be honest, it is really rare for me to go out twice a month let alone twice in one week.  I will let you know how much I spend on Sunday, I’m hoping to stay on track with the buffet night at the local curry house! Speak soon and have a great  weekend!

[FREE STUFF] Coffee

my John Lewis

For those of you like me, who really can’t give up your morning latte and love a trip to the coffee shop at other times of the week, maybe when out shopping on a Saturday or meeting a girlfriend for lunch, one of the things I always do is to take advantage of the coffee chain loyalty cards.  Whether it be from the local Pumpkin train station cafe as I grab a drink before a train journey or mid shopping trip break in Costa, I really can’t see the point of spending out without getting something back, getting my loyalty card stamped and looking forward to my freebie coffee when my card is full!

John Lewis launched a loyalty card scheme back in October which allows them to build a profile on your shopping habits in exchange for free coffee and cake, entry into prize draws, special offers and previews. Sign up instore or online here.

Waitrose also run a loyalty card system that allows you to have free tea or coffee every day. You can choose from Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Tea, Mocha and Espresso. Find out more here.

It may not be my favourite coffee drinking destination nor have the best tasting coffee in town but if you do occasionally treat your kids to a McDonalds, peel the stickers off the cups and look forward to your freebie.

Don’t forget about local coffee shops either, we have two independents in our local town who also offer a loyalty card scheme so always ask!

Get a tall Latte for just £1.50 before 11am every Monday in January at Starbucks.

Do you use your coffee shop loyalty cards on a regular basis?