So we have been quite busy being frugal this week. USAShoestring finally had his visa interview at the embassy and instead of paying for a hotel, to make sure he got to his early appointment on time, he caught the earliest train and was there in plenty of time and saving himself over a hundred pounds. After securing the visa he went to the South coast to see friends and we turned off the heating in his room to make sure that we were not heating it whilst he was away. We kept the thermostat at 18C and only boosted the heat during the day when it fell to 16C.
We made all the evening meals in the slow cooker this week and that meant that there were leftovers to eat for lunches. We only spent £8.64 on a top up shop for groceries this week and otherwise ate from the big shop last week. The children are not keen on lentils but this time I added 1 tablespoon of hot chill sauce to the lentil bolognaise and they declared it delicious !
I knew the grocery budget was tight but after using petrol on Monday to get to IKEA to spend the Christmas voucher, I decided that Lidl was too far to drive and that the local supermarket would have to do. I was delighted to find that they have started to stock their own brand rye crispbreads at the same price as those from Lidl ! This was the main item I wanted to stock up on, so now I could buy them cheaply and not use petrol money ! I spent the £20 IKEA voucher on a throw blanket to form part of MissShoestring's Christmas present this year and two packets of colouring pencils which can also be used for watercolour painting. These will also go into Christmas presents this year. Withe the final pound I got some sealable bags for the freezer which can be washed out and re-used again. I don't think that we will use the IKEA offer again this year as the traffic to get there is awful and I suspect the petrol costs make it unlikely that we actually save money. So I shall be on the hunt for other methods to get a cheap, real tree of around 6 feet.
We made our own yoghurt and granola and everyone packed drinks and food when they were out and about to save buying anything. I sold a few more books and CDs to ziffit and downloaded 2 new free books for the Kindle. I got another £5 voucher from Swagbucks and will use it to buy a book for the course which I first borrowed from the library but think it is good enough to buy. We used home grown mustard and cress for a lunchtime sandwich rather than paying out for shop lettuce !
MrShoestring repaired a dent in MissShoestring's new car and we decided to wait for a film to come out on DVD rather than going to the cinema to see it.
Next week it is half term and St Valentine's Day, plenty of opportunity for frugaling !