<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
You are viewing: Main Page


March 12th, 2005 at 05:29 am

Well, I bit the bullet and signed for a more expensive room. It's going to be great though!

I think I have been doing pretty well with my spending at the minute. Pretty much everything is coming in well under budget, and I'm getting a good set of realistic figures for what I actually spend that I can use to make next year's budget more accurate.

At the minute I am having a massive "store cupboard challenge" to try and clear out all my packets & tins before I go home! Am having some slightly odd meals I have to admit.

Not moneysaving

February 28th, 2005 at 03:44 pm

Hmm.. I am in the process of deciding where to live next year...and I have finally decided to pay the extra ~£400/year and live in the expensive rooms... it was either that or live miles away or share a super-grotty room with a whole group of strangers. so I have decided that this is important to me and I will pay the extra costs. I guess, in the end, this is why I bother trying to save in the first place - to give me the freedom to make decisions like this.


February 11th, 2005 at 11:09 am

Just a quick note to say - guess what, I've got another job!

It's helping out the librarian for an hour a week spread over two lunchtimes.

Obviously that doesn't equate to big bucks Wink but I have the days I wanted - it's perfect really - I come back and usually just microwave some pre-prepared (by me!!) dinner in my lunch hour and then faff around - I have time to get back, do 1/2 hour in the library, have my lunch, & then get off again.

Plus, as with everything, it's almost more about the experience. Being able to talk about working in a library etc opens more doors for other jobs, and all experience (pretty much!) is good experience.

I would much rather have a couple of small jobs that just slot in around my life, but add up to a nice amount, than I would have one big job. It gets more tedious that way, for one thing.

I reckon between these three little jobs I should get another £440 odd between now and the end of the year (12 weeks of term). Well worth having!


February 7th, 2005 at 10:57 am

Well, I've been pretty busy with work recently to come & do an update. Things have been going OK except for going out for dinner 3 times last week, ahem, a combination of a friend's special occasion and my boyfriend visiting.. Had a good time though :-)

Tried to book an eye test today, but I was told that because it's less than 2 years since I had my last test, I would only get it free if they found my prescription had changed, if not I would have to pay (about £25) - I should be getting things free still as I'm not 19 till May & I'm in fulltime education. Seems loopy to me!! In the past I have always been able to get an eye test when I've been having problems with my glasses (I'm having problems seeing the slides in lectures, even fro near the front Frown )

Anyway, I managed to find another optician who will do me a free test as part of a special offer, so it's ok, but what a batty system!!


January 28th, 2005 at 10:09 am

so far, so good.. been trying to cut down on food spending more.

this week so far all I've bought is
Bagels £0.09 (Had a £1 off coupon)
Tomatoes £0.34 (for my cupboard Smile )
Diet coke £1.08 (for boyfriend..)
Milk £0.58
Tip £0.80 (mystery shop in Pizza Hut)

and that was for boyfriend staying for 2 days as well Big Grin

The bagels are good. I complained about some that weren't cooked properly and they sent me some vouchers. The only problem is I have to use the other voucher by Monday. And I am getting sick of bagels!! It's so annoying that when you live on your own, if you buy something you have to eat it over and over and over again until you finish it!

However, it will be bagels and soup again next week :-) It would be nicer if I could get the cinnamon & raisin ones (not with soup though!) but the shop only has plain Frown

Spending diary

January 24th, 2005 at 09:19 am

Well, that's the first week survived!

I got my parents to take me shopping and got lots of "store cupboard" stuff to start me off with (it would have been helpful if they hadn't accidentally taken half of it home, though..!)

I stayed under budget with food, although I did eat quite a bit of the stuff they bought me, but I also bought other things that were for the store cupboard.

I shouldn't need to spend much this week, though. Mystery shopping Pizza Hut tonight with boyfriend - also scored some Mullerice on try me free today, and got some almost-free bagels with my coupons from complaining!

What made last week expensive was presents - I bought two bottles of wine as "thank yous" for people who helped me fix my computer, and I got some stuff in advance for birthday presents too.

Paid for b/f to come and visit - I used all my accumulated reward points so it was only £6.

The EFAs are a supplement I'm trying. I'm not sure I'll buy them again though. I got the tubigrip (for my HMS Frown ) and the mirror with a gift voucher, same for the paper and envelopes Smile

Anyway, here's the diary

Roule £0.59
Juice £0.49
Carrots £0.23
Spaghetti £0.28
Spaghetti £0.28
Houmous £0.50
Rice £0.54
Rice £0.54
Malt loaf £1.00
Apples £0.62
Fennel £0.58
Lettuce £0.99
Pears £0.86
Naan £0.18
Avocado £0.15
Mango £0.20
Bananas £0.22
Satsumas £1.20
Carrots £0.30
Parsnip £0.30

Wine £2.89
Wine £2.89
Bop £5.00
Mirror £1.00
Paper £0.99
Envelopes £1.49

EFA £3.99
Tubigrip £3.45
Laundry £1.20
Birthdays £0.30
Birthdays £10.00

Travel £6.00

New term, new jobs.

January 21st, 2005 at 10:48 am

Well, it's the start of a new term.. lectures began again yesterday.

I have got myself two jobs for this term:

1) Fire warden for my corridor
I actually applied for this back in October, and another girl got it, but she's moved into another corridor now so I'm the new one. I have to check all the fire extinguishers and so on in my corridor in return for a 10% rent discount - so £6.20 a week.

2) Telephonist in development office
I just got this job yesterday - I don't start till Feb. I'm just doing 4 hours a week on a Monday evening, calling alumni and asking for donations to the university's fund. Pays quite well - starts from £6.35/hr - and fits in my terms. £24 a week.

Not fortunes, but they won't interfere with my work much, and that will cover all my weekly food/entertainment costs Smile

I'll be back in a couple of days with spending diaries..


I'm back!

January 8th, 2005 at 06:49 am

I've had complaints on another forum about my failure to keep my journal updated :-) so I'm back!

So, what's happened since I got back home? Not that much.. been pretty busy with Xmas and holiday work from uni. It's been great to have some time to just do nothing and see my boyfriend though - I miss him a lot when I'm away at college.

In the end this is what I gave as presents:
Mum & Dad - my year group photo from college

Grandma, boyfriend's parents - I bought them each a kind of "gift voucher" in a card, except the actual gift goes to a needy person in another country. I got them both seeds & saplings for a Bangladeshi family as grandma & bf's mum are both keen gardeners. I thought it was nice to be able to give people a "good feeling", not give them cluttery junk they won't use, and also help someone else out Smile

Other grandparents - home made certificate enrolling them in the Letter a Month club, where they get a letter from me every month..lol, i know, it's not very good.. I have been working on a lovely sampler for them all year but I didn't get it done in time!

Brother - book from Amazon.co.uk bought with gift voucher from surveys Wink bought at same time as my canopener to get free postage, hehe

Sister - (brand new) T shirt found in a charity shop ages ago and saved for her -it's really unusual, never seen one like it! & Boots gift voucher from surveys

Boyfriend - ended up giving him cash to get some new computer games, it's what he wanted! - plus a load of different soft drinks from Home Bargains (a random shop that sells all kinds of overstock, going out of date etc things), some posh men's skincare freebies, and some choccy etc Smile

Bf's brother - gift voucher to a CD shop I know he'll use.

So, all in all, it didn't come out TOO expensive. Bf & I took his parents out for a meal for their birthdays (both in Jan) - there's a scheme where you can swap your loyalty card reward vouchers from a supermarket for 4X their value to spend on things like certain restaurants, so we took them there with several years of my saved up loyalty points.. hehe. Was very nice!

I also sent a donation to the tsunami appeal.. it wasn't huge.. but it was something, and I used Gift Aid so that the government kindly increased my donation by about 30% (it comes out of your income tax... I don't pay tax, so I always make donations in my mum's name!) - I have also given several pounds more by signing up for lots of free donation sites.

Tried to get back into selling some stuff online to declutter and make some cash. I "upgraded" one of my textbooks to the newest edition as I got a v.good price from an older friend, and sold my old copy.. put lots of other books on Amazon, sold 1 so far, and picked out a load that weren't worth selling (good condition, but were being sold for 1p by hundreds of other people) for the charity shop.

Also been putting some clothes and stuff on eBay. Sold one skirt so far, two other things finish today and both have bids.. I have another pair of jeans on, which have one bid, and some stuff for my sister (none of hers have bids yet though).

All this is going towards my stinky college bill - £1129.82 Frown. This covers next term's rent, canteen subsidy (a stupid mandatory charge you have to pay even if you never go there) and tuition fees.. plus charges for last term for electricity, canteen, bar, etc. Gotta pay that on Friday - left my money in my account for a couple of weeks rather than paying it straight away to earn a few more £ interest. It's all set up to pay online though.

Okay, I think I will stop waffling on now. I should be back a bit more often once I go back to college - determined to track all my expenses for a term rather than just a couple of weeks so I get a better picture of things.

rosie xx


December 6th, 2004 at 05:09 pm

Well, I'm home Smile

Had a nice pile of vouchers and suchlike waiting for me that had come in the post!!

Not enjoying all the shouting and chaos in this house though.. makes me appreciate my own space with only myself to account to... which isn't helped by the fact that we are having building work done which means I can't use my room at all and I'm in the spare room.. which doesn't have any of my stuff in it and is crammed full of everyone else's junk. Oh well.

Tried to ring my work today to get some work over Xmas but the number wasn't working.. will try them again tomorrow. I also found my Railcard which I had lost, so that was good Smile picked up a couple of Try Me Frees at the supermarket too. .. just going to fill them in, then bed!


November 29th, 2004 at 04:16 pm

Well, last week wasn't too bad. Went to two plays, but enjoyed them Smile

A couple of things I could have lived without on the food front.. (and I was not happy, i had to throw 1 1/2 cucumbers and 1 tomato out the NEXT DAY because they were already bad Frown )
but i still didn't go that high. I only have 3 more full days to go here, so I'm into "eat the cupboards" mode!


November 28th, 2004 at 03:18 pm

This week's diary..

Bran flakes 1.33
Sausages 1.50
Lemon tart 1.12
Carrots 0.14
Custard apple 0.50
Naan 0.52
Milk 0.30
Cardamom 1.29
Rice 1.15
Cucumber 0.20
Avocado 0.12
Yoghurts 0.16
Salad 1.80
Satsumas 0.50
Rice 0.54
Bread 0.15

Laundry 1.40
Play 5.00
Xmas present 3.99
Play 4.00

Total 25.71


November 22nd, 2004 at 02:43 pm

well.. today didn't go too well.

haircut.. didn't happen. I had to wait so long they said there was no way I'd be finished for 5 (my appointment was at 2.30..) which was when I had to do my brain research thing. So I had to give up on that. They were so unbelievably rude and nasty that I'm pretty glad they weren't cutting my hair though! Never going back there! - They had a real attitude that because I wasn't paying as much I didn't deserve the same treatment as the other customers.

and I guess I saved myself maybe 10% of my fine...which I still haven't heard anything about yet. I can live with my hair being a bit longer, lol.

Umm what else have I done.. I went to Sainsbury's.. just picked up some cereal, carrots, quorn sausages (using my coupons Quorn kindly sent me), and some reduced to clear lemon tarts (they were soooo nice).

The spicy products still haven't shown up. All I had today was a credit card statement for the card I got back in...July?...and have never used. Surprisingly enough the statement had nothing on it...!

Did some more research today, about the psychology of religion.. another £6 for me Smile plus I now have enough points for another CD from CDwow.. so im looking for one for my boyfriend's brother for xmas..

been invited to do a doubly-long research project next week, with a bonus for having to recall traumatic memories.. sounds good to me!! also next week I should be doing another research project that's slightly different - the university is developing new entrance tests - and they are testing to see whether the tests cause students with disabilities to be disadvantaged at all and how they could be improved. So they invited me to do the mock test and questionnaire because I am classed as a student with a disability because of my HMS..

anyway I guess that's enough waffling from me for one night! xx


November 22nd, 2004 at 01:52 am

This has made me feel marginally better..

I worked out that if it's a £70 fine (tho it may be more).. I have still saved at least £70 from not eating in the canteen...

it's still not good but at least I know I was still better off to cook for myself!


November 21st, 2004 at 10:57 am

arrgh, i dont believe it, i set the fire alarm off the other day cooking.. for which i'll be fined.. I don't know how much yet, but probably around £70, and up to £200..

it's just so frustrating, I try so hard to save my money then something like this wipes out all the effort I made. I may as well just have eaten in the canteen all the time for the same "cost". it seems so unfair as well. it was completely accidental, i told hem it was me, it wasn't a very big thing.. and now I have to see the senior tutor and get told off and have a huge fine.. like he's never set off a fire alarm ever?! (and they're extremely easy to set off, there are 2 heat detectors and a smoke detector, and the kitchen is about 4ft square so there isn't much room for any heat to go!!)

anyway.. I don't really have a choice about it.. it's one of those things Frown I guess at least being careful about my money in other ways means i CAN pay it and still afford to eat and stuff. but it's just so annoying Frown

so I am being extremely careful with what I cook now Frown

home in less than 2 weeks, thank goodness, im getting fed up of it here..

Anyway...here's this week's spending diary!

Satsumas 0.50
Cauliflower 0.20
Apples 0.85
Cabbage 0.33
Milk 0.30
Turnip 0.16
Carrots 0.16
Sausages 1.09
Yoghurt 0.94
Kiwis 0.99
Naan 0.25
Cheese 0.82
Cabbage 0.40
Milk 0.30
Bagels 0.55
Cream cheese 0.84
Sultanas 1.35
Satsumas 0.50

Calendars 10.00
Stamps 1.58
Formal Hall 7.00

Total 29.11

I don't think this is too bad.. about £10 on food.. and I have some left for next week too. The calendars are charity ones of our college, one's an xmas present for my friend, and the other one's for me - the calendar features members of the college naked in "Calendar girls" style, I had to have one! I'm going to keep it with my matriculation and graduation photos (assuming I make it to graduation!)

Formal hall was my "night out", it's a posh meal in college. It costs £6 but I gave my friend £1 towards the wine she brought for us to share Smile

roll on this week and some non-fire-alarmy-cooking Frown

November 19th, 2004 at 01:50 pm

well, the "cheap meals" book was rubbish, their definition of cheap certainly isn't mine! Frown

had some good things in the post this week.. gift voucher for surveys.. some cheques for try-me-frees...claims form for refund of my train ticket.. my compensatory stamps from the post office

ooh, and the lady I emailed at Discovery Foods said she is sending me some complimentary products to help out my student budget! - I have no idea what she's sending but I hope it's nice!!

oh I finally managed to spend my Sainsbury's voucher, although the checkout guy was again quite confused...!



November 16th, 2004 at 07:41 am

I had a reply to my complaint letter to the local supermarket today..they sent me a £10 voucher in apology.

unfortunately I tried to actually spend my voucher today and the checkout guy was having none of it, in the end I gave up and just paid in cash!

so I have written again to complain about that Wink he was generally useless on the checkout. i mean, he didn't know what a turnip was, and he took my loyalty card even when I said "oh, no, it's not worth it" (as I hadn't spent enough to actually get any points..lol..95p for milk,turnip,cabbage,carrots) he insisted it was, took my card and swiped it.. to amass the princely sum of 0 points on my card......hmmmmm.

had to post a library book I had ordered from the library "back home" (I ordered it back in June, it's obviously very popular!)which mum had picked up for me and I'd read on the bus on the way back.. so I had to post it to her to return it for me. It cost me £1.58 to post it after I'd already put two 2nd class stamps I had on it!

but then when I bent down to zip up my bag I found 52p on the floor. So I guess that makes up for it Smile

also put two cheques (a rebate, and for a survey) in the bank, and picked up a book I had ordered at the library here - a "cheap meals" recipe book, I need some more inspiration Smile


this week!

November 14th, 2004 at 01:17 pm

okay, here is the (eagerly-awaited, i am sure..) spending diary for this week

Tomatoes £0.74
Pitta £0.41
Flour £0.44
Milk £0.30
Cheese £0.97
Milk £0.30
Apples £0.77
Meal out £1.00
Meal out £6.00
Birthday card £0.70
Tippex £2.69
Sieve £1.49
Xmas present £0.60

Total £16.41

quite pleased with this Smile

the £1 meal out was the mystery-shopping - we went slightly over the expenses limit, but did have 2 main meals and a glass of wine! so..

I went home this weekend..my train was delayed about 45 mins on the saturday, which was annoying because I was only going to be "home" for 23 hours as it was, and had to split that time between my family and my boyfriend! anyway, I can claim back 50% of my ticket cost in compensation for the delay, so that's nice.

umm, so yeah being at home(s!) for the weekend also meant I got free dinners Wink and I "shopped" our fridge and cupboards for some food to bring back - it was nice because I could take a small slice of brie, a couple of broccoli florets, a few baby sweetcorn etc.. that i couldn't buy in small enough portions for myself. So i have a real selection of vegetables etc plus some home cooked lasagna, some home made biscuits etc Smile save me going shopping for a few days!!

some good news for once

November 11th, 2004 at 08:10 am

hey, some good news!

the money they accidentally paid me and are trying to claim back wasn't the money I thought it was! - they paid me another deposit, and it was that that was the mistake (if you follow me?!). So it's all good. I don't check the acct. they paid it into very often, because the only thing I use it for is getting my student loans paid into it.. I then have £900 of my interest-free overdraft stashed in my savings hehe.

Still keeping my spending diary up to date and I'll post it up on Sunday.. I'm not sure anyone reads it but it helps me stay on track with keeping it up to date, in some odd way!

Done a couple more surveys etc today.. and mystery-shopping tonight. I might also be doing a psychological study about theology! - which is paid.. he's sending me the initial questionnaire etc in the post.

Finally finished off my curry & rice today and trying to control my hunger until the free mystery-shopping dinner later tonight!



November 10th, 2004 at 10:33 am

well.. i have had a really fun day (or not) stuck in the lab experimenting on frog muscles Frown

and my day's not over yet, I have a tutorial at 7.15 tonight ! then some actual WORK needing to be done.. Frown

financially.. I haven't spent anything since monday.. I do need to pick up some milk and fruit tomorrow though.

by the way, having got really used to home-cooked ones..the tinned curry was pretty horrible. but yknow. it's still edible (and I am, in fact, still eating it..)

I did get some free energy-saving lightbulbs off some website in the post Big Grin very pleased.. they are really good.. I got my flatmate to put them in for me as I'm kind of useless. So now all the bulbs in my room are energy saving ones, which is good as my electricity is metered!

I have kept the old bulbs though (obviously!) so I can change mine back Wink when I move out. Hey, they last for 12 years! (I really am pleased with them, they are at least as bright.. and I can tell how much less electricity they waste just by the fact that my desk light doesn't get boiling hot after being switched on for two minutes any more!

I also checked my balance with one of the survey companies and I had enough for a voucher. Which is annoying as I spent some money with the shop my voucher's for last week on some try me free things Frown oh well.

I also got a cheque today refunding me for my "Try me free" carpet cleaning products..! Smile

Mystery shopping tomorrow.. and the horror of the 11 page form of questions.. but hey. it will pay for my bus ticket home on Sunday!

it's me again!

November 9th, 2004 at 09:56 am

it's me again with another quick entry..

Haven't spent anything today.. trying to eat up my stash of storecupboard things.. (plus it was raining and cold and i didn't want to go to the market Wink )

so tonight for dinner i'm having rice with lentil dhal and tinned vegetable curry.. and mandarin segments.

Stupid, because I completely forgot I was planning to have pasta with cherry tomatoes and brie to use up some reduced-to-clear cherry toms and some past-its-best brie.. and by the time I remembered my dinner was cooking Frown

I'll have it tomorrow though, so it's all good. My brie and toms will still be good then Smile

Managed to get a mystery-shopping job for this week.. at a pub.. going to go with a friend on Thurs evening, so it's pretty much a free meal out (we can spend up to £9) plus £5 for my time filling it all in etc. Then I should be doing yet more brain research on Friday Smile

then going home over the weekend! annoyingly one of my friends from home who's here too offered me a lift back to uni from where we live on Sunday.. and i had already booked my ticket home Frown and its non-cancelable.


November 8th, 2004 at 03:35 pm

Wrong again, I decided to skimp on the tumbledrying as I didn't have as many jeans in this time, so I only actually spent £1.20.

Friend's birthday coming up.. I have got her a card (our library here has some really nice ones for 70p.. I usually make my own.. but the hassle of bringing all the bits & pieces to make nice ones to college with me, plus the time they take, just wasn't worth it).. but we have agreed not to get each other birthday presents.

We're planning to go to formal hall (this is held in college every night.. it's a three course meal usually served by candlelight, you bring wine etc, and everyone has to dress smartly and wear college gowns.. and it's £5.50 for me which isn't bad for a reasonably posh 3-course meal) to celebrate instead.

I did ask my mum & dad for a haircut for Xmas, but today I found a hairdresser's down here looking for models who will cut it for me for £7.50 - much cheaper than I can get at home. It's done by trainees, but they are supervised, and the cut I have is pretty simple (although I wouldn't want my mum or anyone doing it, they're even more cackhanded than me!) so I can't see they could mess it up toooo badly!

Planning to go out to a local pub on Friday that serves good Thai food for one of my friends here's friend from home (you following me?) who's coming to visit her. I might drag along my other friend so we can share a meal again - we're both veggies and the others aren't, so it's hard for me to share with them, but the portions are way over what I can eat by myself, plus of course it halves the cost if we share Smile I won't be drinking either so that will help keep it down.

Anyway.. I'd better get back to that essay! Smile


November 7th, 2004 at 12:46 pm

Ack, I was wrong, I forgot I was planning to do laundry today.

Add £1.60!

I think I did okay.. the total spend was a bit higher because of the top and shoes. plus I did some "stocking up" shopping with the ginger, pickle, chutney etc.

This week's shopping should be lighter - I still have a bit of food left from last week. Made cauli & potato curry tonight and had that for dinner with some rice and homemade onion raita (I was going to have mango chutney with it but somehow forgot I had it !?) and will probably have that for lunch /dinner tomorrow and maybe wed as well.

i found a recipe online for naan bread made in a frying pan so i may try that out tomorrow! .. i can use the flour for dumplings & sauces & pancakes.. so ..

then I'll probably make stew again to use up my carrots and use up a couple more of my potatoes.. I don't need to buy anything for that.

towards the end of the week I might make tabbouleh or something. I have bulghar so I'd only need to get maybe some spring onions, a couple of tomatoes, and some parsley.

so far my list for tomorrow is:


oh, and I need some tippex!

going to get a stick blender too for soups.. mum sent me a gift voucher she had so I can get it.. its less than £5 in any case. also make a trip to the library.

on the downside, I had a letter at home that dad opened for me saying they overpaid me on my disabled student's allowance and I need to repay over £400 of what they gave me (so almost all of it).. Frown.. plus youd have thought they could have sent the letter to me AT UNI which they have the address for, instead of home...?


spending diary

November 6th, 2004 at 03:22 pm

okay.. putting this up slightly early.. as I'm not planning to spend anything tomorrow.

Pears £0.60
Plums £0.96
Milk £0.30
Cereal £1.33
Mango chutney £0.99
Yoghurt £0.75
Branston pickle £0.64
Rolls £0.30
Ginger £1.79
Carrots £0.15
Raisins £1.19
Pears £1.00
Tomatoes £0.60
Coriander £0.50
Avocado £0.12

Fireworks donation £0.22

Stamps £1.29
Top £5.00
Shoes £5.00
Stamps £0.28
Birthday card £0.70
Exam papers £0.50

Total £24.51



November 2nd, 2004 at 03:48 pm

oops, sorry about that, it somehow managed to put one of my posts in three times. fixed now!!

am really trying to keep a spending diary up to date, and im going to put it on here every week to keep me up to scratch!

today was (relatively) lucrative: sold a book to another student, and got mystery shopping and survey money in the post. Tomorrow I'm doing more brain research! - so another £7.

On the spending sides, i did buy a top and some shoes today. but in my defence they are very nice, and were marked down AND buy one get one free. so I got some £18 shoes and a £20 top for £10. The top is really nice though, it's one you can wear for formal occasions, going out, and just looking nice.. so..

I also cracked and bought an electric can opener last week, it came today. My HMS makes it really hard for me to open cans Frown and without helpful ffamily around I was struggling. However, I did:

-combine it with abook i was getting my bro for xmas to get the free postage
-this was about 40p under the free postage limit so I added a book I had a code to get free
- the code took off an extra £3 or so because it pays for the book's postage even though I was getting free postage
- i used a gift voucher I had from doing surveys

so in total the free book (which i read today and enjoyed), the xmas present, and my canopener actually cost me 52p. and, of course, I used a cashback link to buy them Wink


Tomorrow is Grocery Day as I'm relatively free (apart from a lecture, some brain research, and a tutorial..). I'm trying to go cheaply on food, but without sacrificing health or eating completely boring food.. trying to eat lots of fruit, veggies and grains. one of the big problems I'm finding is with buying things like bread in a small enough quantity for 1 person. I don't have a freezer and although we kind of share some things with the other people on our floor, we all like different things..

This is my shopping list:
Cauliflower (50p)
Yoghurt (79p)
Tomatoes (£1)
Coriander bunch (60p)
Raisins (£1.20?)
Pickle (40p)
Bread rolls (30p)
Apples and pears
plus a cucumber if they have one marked down, as they almost always do.

I'm going to make cauliflower & potato curry with tomatoes (still using up my potatoes and onions!) with lentil dhal (yup, i stocked up on 2kg of red lentils..), rice, and onion/cucumber raita. That will last me a couple of days Smile

then I have cereal and apple&raisin muesli for breakfasts.. cheese & pickle or brie & tomato rolls for my packed lunches on lab days.

Food is so expensive here. Even tho I try and make relatively cheap meals and I go to the market etc.. Frown

On the other hand, eating in the hall every day would cost me ~£25-30 a week. So I guess although it seems like a lot for one person to me, I am doing pretty well really. I reckon I spend about £10 a week on food, but I did start off with quite a well-stocked cupboard.

going to make vegetarian chilli probably over the weekend as well - quorn mince is on Try me Free, and i can send off for it as my boyfriend (ahem).. and I have all the other ingredients at home, and can serve it with microwaved-baked-potatoes to use up a couple more of them!

please feel free to leave any of your cheap recipes or tips in the comments section, I still need a lot of help!


me again

October 27th, 2004 at 01:46 pm

Just a quick entry, I'm procrastinating on writing my essay!

i got my first marked essay back today though and I got a high 1st so I was really pleased!

onto moneysaving..

- went to a free lunch today
- got a cheque from some try me free cappuccinos
- filled in a load of things I had piled up for other try me free things last night (I roped in my flatmate to address envelopes!)

That potato pie recipe was timed just right as I spotted a great deal on .......wait for it... 5kg of potatoes the other day. Yes, 5kg, just for me..

have written a letter to the supermarket here complaining about their general dreadfulness. I haven't posted it yet though, I'm going to drop it in next time i go.

I really am procrastinating on my essay.. so Im going to go... but I will check in soon.

By the way, I decided to go for the £35 photo and give it to mum and dad for xmas


me again

October 21st, 2004 at 11:25 am

Hmm this week is being expensive Frown

First I had to buy batteries for my special equipment they have bought me, as they kindly forgot to send me any batteries.. £10

Then I got a textbook that is core to all my courses this year.. £36 (but I did get a 20% discount as yesterday , today and tomorrow is the Student Discount Period! so it made it as cheap as I could get it 2nd hand brand new Smile )

Then our matriculation (matriculation is a ceremony where you become a member of te college, and they take a photo of everyone who is matriculating that year, so everyone in your year is on it) photo is on sale.. I want to get one.. but I couldn't decide

£12 - photo, no names, no mount, nothing
£25 - names & mount, no frame
£35 - names, mount, frame

(the mount is all fancy and written in calligraphy with the college shield and stuff).

I was thinking if I got the £25 one.. I would probably have trouble finding the right frame for it etc..

So I thought maybe I should splash out and get the £35 one, but I also thought maybe I couldgive it to my parents for Xmas? I mean it's not the kind of thing I'm going to hang up now, but they would like to put it up I think and then I can reclaim it when I'm older Wink

So even tho that is going for the most expensive option I think as it also sorts out Xmas presents quite nicely that;s the one I'm going to go for. It'd be nice to hangit with the graduation one (assuming I get that far!!)

Plus I'm going out on friday night which may prove expensive.. Frown.. and i have to book tickets for going to the hospitall.. £15.

am still doing reasonably well on the food front though.

Ohh, some good news, I emailed Quorn (they make vegetarian thingybobs) saying could you send me some recipes, PS and any coupons Wink and today I got a little recipe booklet and £1.50 of coupons in the post. Which was nice Smile

Also had a couple of surveys through.. and I found a penny in a lecture (wahey, riches!)

Anyway I am going to head off and do some work but I will check in again in a couple of days and let you know how I am doing... Smile

at least the threat of 9am maths lecture on saturday is enough to stop me spending too much on alcohol on friday night huh



October 19th, 2004 at 02:08 pm

well.. the results are in... I spent £50 last week.

that did include a new (in the sale!) winter coat though (£18) and me buying in pizza for a group of people, some of whom haven't coughed up their shares yet.

ignoring those I spent £11.59 on food and £7 on alcohol!

I reckon I must be eating quite healthily though! - I bought

grapes, apples, pears, cheese, oil, spaghetti, dinner (in canteen), lunch (in canteen), onions, milk, plain yoghurt, and orange juice. oh... and a pack of polos Wink

I got some more recipe books out the library today..

I did buy a couple of textbooks today, second hand, £24. I think they will be worth that in usefulness though, and I have been given a grant for books from my LEA so that I can buy ones if I need them to refer to rather than having to go over to the library all the time, and also so I can work at home with my software and my special chair (should be coming on friday, we hope!) rather than on the crappy seats in the library.

I have my eye on another one as well but I'm scouting around for it first!

I did the brain research on monday, £7, and it was quite fun! - I learnt some new stuff as well, and plus there are the fuzzy feelings from knowing it will (eventually) help people. Also half-way through a very long market research survey thing about drinks that should give me £20 when i do the 2nd part. So I guess that is my textbooks paid for Smile


ps. does anyone have any ideas of good things to do with onions? they were reduced to clear and also buy one, get one free, so I now have nearly 2kg of onions just for me to eat... I mean I normally put them in sauces, curries etc.. but that doesnt use them very fast so ideas very welcome! thanks!


October 16th, 2004 at 05:24 am

oops sorry I posted before I finished!

I'm mainly eating cooking for myself, the hall food is disgusting.. so I am quickly learning what's cheap to eat! I'm doing pretty well I think making a variety of stuff on 2 hobs, and since I live so close to the market but wquite far from the supermarket (which is expensive and has a rubbish range of stuff anyway) I'm eating loads of fresh stuff - cheaper and healthier Smile

despite the stereotypes I'm not spending that much on alcohol! - I have 9 or 10am lectures every day except sunday so I can't go too mad anyway!

still scouting for mystery shopping, market research, & anything free! - I have been doing well with "try me free" products, and today I got 2 bottles of coconut shower creme as part of a market research thing.

I'm also helping with some brain research next week which I get paid for but also will help some people with hearing impairments - it's helping them learn more about how the brain processes distorted speech which will help them develop better ways to rehabilitate people who get cochlear implants as well as to develop our general understanding of how the brain handles language.

Okay i will try and post again soon when I get a minute, and thank you for that lovely comment on my last post - really made me smile!



October 16th, 2004 at 05:15 am

hi, I'm back, and I've almost survived 2 weeks of uni!

got some good news today... I opened a fixed rate monthly saver account with Abbey that was paying 6.5% interest (pretty much the highes t you could get anywhere) and today they just put the rate up to 7%! I rang them and checked and it does apply to my account.. so wahey!

I think I've been doing more or less okay on my spending... I didn't keep too tight tabs on it during fresher's week although I didn't spend huge amounts, but now the rush is over I'm trying to


September 25th, 2004 at 06:23 pm

Only a week and a day left until I start uni!

still got quite a lot of stuff left to prepare though..

I have opened a new savings acct, partly (I admit) to get a free £10, and partly because it's a good deal anyway.

It's with ING Direct and you can have several different "pots" to keep your money in (which is good for me because I want to keep 3/4 of my savings (i.e. for years 2 3 and 4 of uni!) and my money I pinched from my interest-free overdraft separately.

It makes it harder for me to accidentally spend money I shouldn't be, it gets a good interest rate, and interest is paid monthly which I like Smile

ooh, and also I have an interview at Asda on Thursday for seasonal work Smile

<< Newer EntriesOlder Entries >>