Always read the label...
Dinner last night was delicious, however in trying to add variety to the diet I used a packet of noodle chips as the base for the Butter Pork curry instead of rice. Both Husband and SmallBoy had not been impressed and eaten everything but the noodles saying they tasted funny. Having no sense of taste thanks to this stoopid cold/flu lurgy ~ I ate on with gusto.
Bad move... at least I can't complain about being 'bogged up' for quite some time! OK ~ not going to go into too much information, but I didn't think dried noodles could go 'off'. This packet did have a 'best before' date (as I discovered sometime around 630am when getting water after the third visit to the loo) and I should have looked before hand. It's not a good idea to go with something with a best before 2006 when it is 2010. Unless it is wine. Wine from 2006 is particularly good now it is 2010! *grins*
Today Husband mowed while I got more clothes sorted. Boy oh boy ~ how many clothes does a family need?? Not as many as we have ~ that is for sure!! There are three sets to the sorting ~ things we are wearing, clothes to store for winter and stuff that can be sold either on eBay or at the garage sale for $1. Lots of $1s will make for at least $500 - the school uniforms SmallBoy has outgrown should account for $20 or so ~ goodness we are hoarders. No ~ goodness we were hoarders. No more ~ it all must go!!
Low Spend / No Spend 2011
We are all in to keep costs down as low as possible. Anything found for less than the budgeted amount will continue to go on the credit card first. It's a killer. SmallBoy has asked if his pocket money of $10 per week can be given as $5 in the hand and $5 in the bank. As we have been able to spend less each fortnight than our income, we feel if he does his chores and helps out around the garden then he should receive pocket money each Sunday. It was brilliant he wants to get savings together and his 'online' bank account is set up waiting for the first payment on Sunday. Just the clean up in his bedroom this week is worth the reward/pay ~ plus he has been emptying the dishwasher and helping with the chooks without quibble or delay.
There are so many areas we plan to lower our spending to increase the payment amounts going on bills, the credit card and the mortgage. It seems Wednesday is a bit of an illogical day to try and do the budget wrap up - especially as we receive income on Fridays and set the menu and budget for the fortnight over the weekend. So updates on the financials will be over the weekend, in readiness for reading bright and early on Mondays. This should make it less of a chore and more of a weekly review of our successes!
Earlier in the blog we set some ideals we hope to maintain. You can see those plans in the 'Notable Posts' section in the first post. This was more in the work in progress stage and as the months have progressed these are taking place or getting sorted. Other areas we are making 'the norm' for the next 12 months include:
- Menu plan based on what needs using and specials
- Bake each week to avoid the need to buy snack foods
- Buy specials, meat and grains in bulk
- No clothes or shoes unless from op shop
- Freeze leftover vegies so they don't go off in the fridge
- Set a 'birthday' present budget
- No new appliances ~ source through Freecycle if required
- Plan car trips to limit quick shops/stops ~ walk to the supermarkets
- Heating/cooling on extreme weather days (rug up or strip down as required)
- Be eating 3 meals from our garden by end Jan
- No shop takeaways
- Use up all the half bottles of this n that
- Home made cleaning products only
- No books/magazines - hello library
With the pantry opened up and laundry cupboard empty, there will be plenty of places we can organise and store things that can be used up before we need to either buy or move to home-made varieties. Yes ~ if it is food, the date will be checked. If in doubt, it will be thrown out. I never want to feel this lousy again!
On Simple Savings there are lots who are planning a low cost or no spend 2011 ~ one thing we are not doing is buying and storing in advance. Mainly because we don't have the money to do so but also because it feels a little like false economising. If we had a spare $300 to spend in preparation it would go on meat, the garden or a dumper bin. As we don't ~ well, it ain't gonna happen *grins*
The support through comments here on the blog and FaceBook, especially these last few weeks, has blown us away. I don't think we can thank everyone enough for the cheers! Hope you continue to join us on our journey. Next year (hehehe - as in Saturday, tomorrow...) Mands on a Mission is going to have its first competition. More about that later.