An experiment from earlier in the year that I finally got round to posting. We saw various pins on Pinterest raving about a "homemade lava lamp". Using just coloured water, oil and Alka Seltzer you create your own lava lamp effect in a bottle. Not sure what I expected but I was a little disappointed the effects did not quite live up to some of the photos in the pins. B really enjoyed doing it though and has requested a repeat of the activity.
Short and sweet posting this week due to kids with sick bugs (lovely!)
Find of the week more dishwasher tablets - this time in packs of 10 for £1 in Poundland. Question is how many do I need to buy since I carried over 100 from last week. I am in danger of becoming the mad dishwasher tablet hoarder! I bought 3 to make the spend in Poundland an even fiver.
Also found in Poundland packs of Fruit Strings (for the kids lunchboxes) Normally I would buy and use 2 packs for £3.50. At £2 for 2 packs I have saved a third of what I would normally pay. Bought 10 packs (5 weeks worth). Weekly payback will be £3.50.
From Morrisons bought pasta shapes on the 5 for £2 deal you seem to find everywhere.
Also bought Ariel washing tabs for half price (30 for £6) these are more effective on the kids clothes especially white school uniform tops which cost £18 each to replace! Normal price 21p per tablet, this is 20p per tablet so only 30p saved in total but every little counts!
tins of mini pasta shapes normal price 45p each
multibuy offer = 5 tins for £2
we use 7 tins a week payback = £3.15
(we bought 10 tins so take £4 off the stocking up fund)
240 teabags (PG Tips) - normal price £5.49 price in B and M £3.99
Bought 3 packs so £11.97 from stocking up fund. These were bought at the end of the week so no payback for week 4 but will be paying back 18p per day (6 cups of tea) in week 5
£6.20 carried over from week 3
payback from dish washer tablets for week 4= £5.88
payback from catfood for week 4= £9.24
payback for baked beans 68p
payback for washing tablets= £2.94
payback for pasta shapes= £3.15
total carried over for week 5=6.20+5.88+9.24+0.68+2.94+3.15-4-11.97
total value of goods in "stock"= £97.91
16 tins beans = £10.88
26 Washing tablets= £5.46
44 Cat food pouches = £5.28
100 Dish washer tablets = £42
3 tins pasta shapes= £1.35
720 teabags = £16.47
So there we have it- just four weeks in if we add together the value of the stock in the cupboard plus the money in the stocking up purse we already have over £100!
Money in stocking up fund carried over from week 2 = £11
payback from dish washer tablets for week 3= £5.88
payback from catfood for week 3= £9.24
total in stocking up fund for start of week 3 = \£26.12
On offer this week (1st September- 7th September)
six pack of heinz baked beans now £3
Normal price per tin 68p = £4.08 for 6 tins
(I would normally use 1 tin of these a week so not a huge saving individually but since I bought 3 packs total saving eventually = £1.08 * 3 = £3.24)
Weekly payback 68p
Surf washing tablets £3 for 18 washes = 17p per wash
Normal price = 21p per wash
Since I do 2 washes a day weekly payback = 14 *21p = £2.94
Number of packs bought =3
Cat food still on special offer so bought 2 boxes of 12 sachets = £5
Money left in stocking up fund at end of week 3 = £26.12 -£9 ( for beans) - £9 (washing tablets) - £5 (catfood) = £3.12
Used 1 tin of beans from stash so 68p paid back = £3.80
Used washing tablets so £2.94 paid back = £6.20 to be carried over to week 4
Value of stock in stash:
17 tins beans = £11.56
40 Washing tablets= £8.40
44 Cat food pouches = £14.52
114 Dish washer tablets = £47.88
Total value = £82.36
Money in stocking up fund this morning is £11.76 (2 x £5.88 from the dish washer tablets)
One offer yesterday at Tescos we found the smaller trays of cat food pouches were cheaper than the bigger trays for once!
Normally cat food would be £12.99 for 40 = 33p per sachet. Whiskas have recently reduced the overall price but also the overall number of sachets. Looks like a better deal in your basket until you do the maths...
On offer this week though (and until the 9/9) packs of 12 sachets are £5 for 2. This means if I buy 4 packs then the overall cost is £10 for 48 = 21p per sachet When the offer ends at Tescos I have seen an identical offer at B and M if this is longer term then I should be able to do this again.
Now for the maths;
I use 2 x 7 x 2 sachets a week for my 2 cats = 28 sachets
28 sachets x 33p per sachet = £9.24 per week under the normal supermarket price
Stocking up fund at start of week 2= £11.76 - £10 (for 4 boxes of 12 pouches) = £1.76
Adding in the new weekly cat food pay back = £1.76 + £9.24 = £11 at end of week 2
Value of stock for end of week 2 = £6.60 (cat food) + 53.76 (dish washer tabs)= £60.36
With my birthday looming at the end of this week it is as always a chance to reflect on the last year. This year more than ever has resulted in us running to keep still financially. A is now taking private music lessons; he has a real talent and it is the only area where he can give neurotypical kids a run for his money. £800 upfront for a years worth of lessons in a small group at his new secondary school is not funny however. B is getting worse and worse and we have started (without the support of the school) to attempt to get an autism diagnosis and thus extra help in school; school have not even bothered to return questionnaires to the experts involved (fume fume) and time and money spent running to Dorchester and back is hitting hard. Add to that the fact that the money for school trips/ uniform/ equipment etc has doubled since R started secondary school last year and along with Mr Cameron's new taxes for single income families we are hundreds of pounds worse off each month. As a result it has encouraged me to start looking again at an idea that fell by the wayside about 2 years ago as it was too much of a faf at the time. The stocking up fund.
Called "The stocking up fund" in our house it was an idea I originally came across on moneysavingexpert.com as the third purse system by a poster called mothership. The idea is that you have your normal grocery budget (first purse), this buys your normal weekly/monthly stuff for your family. You then have a fund available for buying "extras", this can be stuff you buy on special offer or as a bigger than usual pack; this is your second purse. As you buy stuff from your second purse you build up your own stockpile. As you use stuff from the stockpile you pay your second purse back the price you would pay normally in the supermarket out of your first purse. Net result is that your first purse (your budget) is not any different to how it would be if you hadn't stocked up in the first place; but the stocking up fund gets replenished to allow you to get more "stock" when you see it on special offer. So where does the "third purse" come in? The amount of money in the second purse should increase week by week and if you set yourself a limit to how much money that purse should hold then when you go over that threshold that money goes into a third purse; this money is for you to spend on a treat or in my case music lessons!
So much for the theory now for the practise...
This week (mon 18th to sun 24th august) I started with a stocking up fund of £20. This was in the form of money off vouchers for my local supermarket and normally I would put these aside until Christmas to buy extra food for the holiday, so over the course of about 4 months that £20 would have made me £20! I think this system (if I can stick to it!) will net me much more than £20 by Christmas. Having scanned the websites of the big supermarkets for offers on stuff I would normally buy anyway I discovered that Tescos is offering 78 Finish dishwasher tablets for £10 - half the normal price. So I blew the whole of the fund and bought 2 boxes. Normally if I couldn't get dishwasher tabs on offer (and I needed them) I would have to buy the smallest pack possible and this works out at 42p/tablet. I use the dishwasher once or (when OH is actually here) twice a day, so I am going to assume that I use 14 tablets a week, that's £5.88 on dishwasher tablets if I was going to pay the most expensive price. By transferring this amount from my grocery budget each week my grocery budget would not be changed at all (apart from the fact is smooths out the peaks and troughs because of course I do not need to buy a whole pack each week), but it will begin to replenish the stocking up fund. So here's the summary for this week
Stocking up fund £5.88
Stock - 71 days worth of dishwasher tabs (£59.64 worth!)
Recently I found the perfect piece of jewellery for a friend of mine at a table top sale - problem was that I felt a bit cheap giving it in a small plastic bag! This tutorial allows you to take any paper and turn it into a gift box with a lid. the size of the box you end up with depends on the size of the paper you start off with, simples!
These days I don't get to do little kids parties more is the pity but as part of the PTFA at my kids primary school over the last year we have had a few activities were we have needed small bags that were not Disney and a little more grown up. This tutorial allows you to take any paper and turn it into a little bag for say a handful of sweets. you can use gift wrap, paper printed with images from the web, scrapbook paper even paper decorated with original artwork from you little ones to make it really personal.
Works brilliantly and as B is now into writing (finally) we now have hundreds filled with scribbles thus saving me a fortune on notepads, and of course I'm more likely to have a spare piece of paper than a pad so its more convenient for when he suddenly decides he wants to do it too.