Well, last week wasn't too bad. Went to two plays, but enjoyed them
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 )
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!
Archive for November, 2004
Well, last week wasn't too bad. Went to two plays, but enjoyed them
This week's diary..
Bran flakes 1.33
Lemon tart 1.12
Custard apple 0.50
Xmas present 3.99
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 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
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!
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 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
so I am being extremely careful with what I cook now
home in less than 2 weeks, thank goodness, im getting fed up of it here..
Anyway...here's this week's spending diary!
Cream cheese 0.84
Formal Hall 7.00
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
roll on this week and some non-fire-alarmy-cooking
well, the "cheap meals" book was rubbish, their definition of cheap certainly isn't mine!
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...!
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 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
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
okay, here is the (eagerly-awaited, i am sure..) spending diary for this week
Meal out £1.00
Meal out £6.00
Birthday card £0.70
Xmas present £0.60
quite pleased with this
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 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 save me going shopping for a few days!!
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!
well.. i have had a really fun day (or not) stuck in the lab experimenting on frog muscles
and my day's not over yet, I have a tutorial at 7.15 tonight ! then some actual WORK needing to be done..
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 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 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 oh well.
I also got a cheque today refunding me for my "Try me free" carpet cleaning products..!
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 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 )
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
I'll have it tomorrow though, so it's all good. My brie and toms will still be good then
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
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 and its non-cancelable.
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 I won't be drinking either so that will help keep it down.
Anyway.. I'd better get back to that essay!
Ack, I was wrong, I forgot I was planning to do laundry today.
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).. .. plus youd have thought they could have sent the letter to me AT UNI which they have the address for, instead of home...?
okay.. putting this up slightly early.. as I'm not planning to spend anything tomorrow.
Mango chutney £0.99
Branston pickle £0.64
Fireworks donation £0.22
Birthday card £0.70
Exam papers £0.50
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 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
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:
Coriander bunch (60p)
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
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..
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!