I popped into Waitrose on the school run for a quick peek at the reduced shelf. I found it stuffed full of these Chocolate and orange pots. They looked quite inticing and I loved the little pink ceramic pots they came in. Similar to Gü puddings but much more generous portions.
At 35p each I snapped up 4 (one each for the children and for me. Poor hubby is working). They were the most delicious and decadent thing I have eaten in forever!
I would be highly tempted to buy them again or try others in the range, but then I saw the original price! £2 each!
My 4 puddings tonight should have cost £8. That's crazy! But rest assured I will be snapping them up if any others are reduced to less than 50p each. Possibly a single full priced one for my birthday lol.
I usually make my own detangler spray, not only does it cost a lot less than store bought , I can also add a few drops of tea tree oil for headlice protection.
However today we hit a small disaster. I dropped the bottle when I picked it up and a very cold plastic bottle does not mix well with a very cold tiled bathroom floor!
So I have picked up a replacement from the pound shop so we can start again. I've tested it out on my own hair and it's certainly done the trick. The fruity scent is a nice change from our usual tea tree scent.
I'm just hoping it meets the approval of the girls. Particularly DD2 whom only let's me brush her hair every few days, if I'm very lucky and the planet's are perfectly aligned. Lol.
My poor little Gman has been feeling the cold on the school runs. Because it's a bit of a speed trial getting the girls in two places almost at once, Gman is strapped into the buggy. But because he's not running about like the mad lunatic he is, he gets very chilly.
I've been hunting for a snow suit in charity shops, freegle, Freecycle and ebay. As you can probably guess the cheapest time to get them is during a heat wave, not during a massive cold snap when everyone wants one.
So I've given in and bought a brand new one from Asda for him. At £14 It's less than the £20 budget I had in my head for a new suit, and I will of course be carefully storing it for future use.
I'm hoping for a much more snuggly warm Gman tomorrow morning, I just hope he doesn't notice it has pockets and hides anything icky in them lol.
We were up early this morning, trading in the traditional Sunday morning lay in for a trip to the cinema.
I saw an advertisement a few weeks back for a special showing of Frozen on the big screen, it included a chance to see a new Olaf short that had been released for Christmas.
Knowing the girls absolutely love Frozen and Frozen Fever we booked tickets early before they sold out.
We don't often visit the cinema due to the cost of tickets. It can cost as much as £12 each to see a film! When you are a family of 5, soon to be 6, it just isn't feasible. But luckily there is a budget friendly option on offer. KIDS AM or Kids Club, is run by both Vue and Odeon. Tickets start from as little as £1.25 though they are usually £2.50 locally and give you a chance to watch a fun family friendly film on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
It's often extended to weekday mornings during the school holidays.
You won't see the latest releases but you do get to enjoy great movies on the big screen with the full cinema experience.
The children really enjoyed the trip today. They all behaved beautifully and only one trip to the loo was needed part way through.
This morning I was invited to attend a Ladies breakfast at a local church. Sadly I left my phone in the car, not noticing until hubby had driven off, so I haven't got any photos to share of the event. It was wonderful though.
All of the lady guests were offered Bucks fizz, Prosecco or orange juice on arrival. Served of course by the men of the church including the vicar himself. They all wore Christmas hats and festive aprons which was quite fun.
We had fruit salad and yoghurt to start, followed by smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and finishing with mountains of miniature pastries.
There was a small raffle to enter and each table had quiz sheets to answer.
I'm looking forward to attending the next one already.
In the after we met up with my tribe. My tribe are my 3 best girlfriends and their families. Between the four of us there are 9 children so far, and it makes for a merry and loud time.
Today we met at Stansted house and gardens. The children were released into the surrounding woodland where they formed packs and began hunting for wildlife, mushrooms, feathers and pinecones. It was lovely to watch them all getting very muddy and messy in the outdoors.
Once everyone was complaining of the cold and nature had lost its appeal we relocated to the nearby cafe for hot chocolate and gingerbread men.
I'm predicting a very easy bedtime this evening after all that exercise!
This week baton training was cancelled on Wednesday to let everyone rest after Sunday's big competition day. It means the girls will get a free replacement session in Decembers fees. It also meant we ate at home instead of Macdonalds after training.
Today Gman and I went to our regular Friday morning playgroup. It's costs £1 a session and includes crafts, snacks, tea/coffee and biscuits.
I walked home instead of catching the bus twice this week. It's great exercise but getting a little chilly for Gman.
This week we were given a snowing Christmas tree by my grandparents. They used it last year but decided it wasn't for them and that the children would enjoy it.
My friend Beth gave me some pregnancy toiletries. Foam bath and aching leg/foot cream by Sanctuary. They smell incredible and I look forward to using them.
She also gifted some board books she thought Gman would enjoy.
I used my O2 phone app to receive a free packet of WHSmith Christmas cards (worth £6.99!) and a free can of sparkling fruit juice. I also enjoyed a free hot chocolate from cafe Nero.
I used my Waitrose reward card to enjoy free coffees each afternoon on the school run.
I have received several offers of baby clothes from other parents in the playground today.
I used a voucher in Macdonalds to buy a meal for £1.99. I split the fries and burger with Gman and it fed us nicely for lunch.
I had a rummage through the freshly filled 20p clothes bin in Sue Ryder. I found a night dress for DD1, denim sleeveless dress for DD2, 2x Disney baby grows and a 2 piece floral outfit for the baby.
Total price - £1.20p
We are currently decluttering our film collection ready to move home. We traded in 3 large bagfuls at CEX and bought 2 new films we wanted to see. The remaining money was credited to my husband's account to use later. The balance stands at around £35+
I bought a vintage copy of Anderson and Grim fairy tales (1925) and a copy of Now we are 6 by A.A.Milne from 1970 for 25p each. Both will be gifted to DD1 for Christmas.
Next week plans
I would like to start some cress, basil, chives and other herbs on the windowsill for fresh supplies.
Knit a hat that DD1 has fallen in love with on Pinterest. Thankfully it's a free pattern and I have suitable wool.
Finish a cross stitch card I started a few weeks ago and havant returned to yet.
Work on the next meals to include in our 3 month stockpile.
Make a list of baby items we need/want and look at what we already have stashed away.
DD1&2 are thrilled to be having a little sister, I'm not quite sure how Gman feels about but I think he'll be quite pleased when baby arrives. Gman loves pointing out babies in buggies and kissing their hands so I think we are in good stead.
X x X
P.S - Special hello to Paula, it was lovely to meet you today. I can't quite believe someone recognised me in the street from my blog. You've made me smile all day.
I've spent over week away from the internet and social media. It's given me some much needed head space to reassess a few things. Reminded me why I like to live simply and quietly. One big example is the fact I spend so much time finding ideas to do with the children than I don't actually have any time to do the said activities.
Things need to change!
Today's activity is quick and easy to set up. A pipe cleaner, a dozen baubles and a felt tip pen.
DD1 wrote each of her homework spellings by writing one letter per bauble and threading them onto her pipe cleaner. She has some tricky words this week like beige and neice which sometimes need the letters rearranging.
DD2 enjoyed putting the letters of her name and surname in the right order. She also numbered the baubles 1 -12 and hung them in the right order. We also worked on finding the odd and even numbers.
Gman was just happy threading baubles onto pipe cleaners. I tried to tempt him into mark making on the baubles, simple dots or crosses but was firmly put in my place for messing up his game. Lol. Toddlers eh? Dangerous creatures to anger!
Breakfast has been covered. Now I am turning thoughts to dinners.
A favourite meal in this house is always a simple pasta in sauce style meal. They can be cooked in a single pot on the hob, made as simple as 2 ingredients or more extravagant with extra ingredients and have delicious tasting leftovers.
A single jar of Aldi pasta sauce is 65p, cheese and bacon or creamy tomato being our favourites. Add it a packet of smart price pasta (20-35p depending on type) and you have a filling tasty meal for less than £1. A 500gm packet of pasta will feed all 5 of us a hefty portion with plenty left over for 2-4 lunches.
This make pasta sauces and dried pasta an essential add to the food stores.
12 jars and packets will cost me less than £12 to purchase and ensure 1 meal a week is sorted out. I could even cook it twice a week for a paltry £24.
I think I'd like a bit more variation than that though so for now I will keep it as a back up plan.
I will get sauce and pasta early next week.
There's been a lot of talk locally about preparing for the big changeover to Universal credit. With delays of up to 12 weeks between applying and receiving money being reported, the local food book is recommending families start putting aside savings and building food stores.
It sounds like great advice to me. We already save regularly but we are lacking an organised food store.
This needs to change! And now!
I'm planning to tackle the food issue one meal at a time, starting with breakfast.
After a morning of comparing supermarket prices and calculating portions per carton/packet, I have come up with the following plan.
12 x 1kg porridge oats - we all eat porridge and over night oats. Plus I add oats to bulk out meat based meals like Bolognese. Everyone eats flapjacks to so any surplus will be easily used.
6 x Smart price Corn flakes - a 500gm packet equals 16 portions. I use a scoop to make sure we stick to portion control. There's also the option of making cornflake cakes and cornflakes tart if there's surplus.
6 x 24 pack Wheat Biscuits - a 24 pack equals 12 portions, however the two smallest share a portion of 1 biscuit each. I have a good wheatabix cake recipe for using any surplus.
So how much will a 12 week supply cost?
£15.54 which isn't a huge amount when you consider the amount of food that includes (35 breakfast plus extra for snacking and baking)
I could go out a buy it today that might leave me with a use by date issue. You DO NOT want your food stores all reaching use by dates at once!
So o my next food shop I will by just 4 weeks supply. (4 x porridge 2x wheat biscuit 2x cornflakes) each time we use a packet I will replace it with 2 of the same, until we are up to a 3 month supply. Then it's just a case of maintaining the stock. 1 in, 1 out.
That should stagger the dates a little and spread the cost of restocking over a few weeks.
Anyone else stockpiling to beat Universal Credits or uncertain finances? Any tips would be welcome