Family Fortunes! 27th Jun

Final Post!

Well, we did survive! We still had enough food to last until Monday morning, excluding Sunday Lunch as I had planned a picnic. I have to say that it was really not at all easy. I was literally counting pennies and it makes you stressed when children ask you for lollies/sweets/magazines and you have to say ‘no’. Pavlos and Joseph look like ‘The Hair Bear Bunch’ and desperately need a haircut…but I had to say no as that would’ve cost me £24 and I only had £30 left…I was getting really bad tempered and began dreaming of sipping some lovely chilled Cava, especially when the sun started coming out! But all I had was Robinsons…..really miserable. Anyway, on Saturday night we barbecued – sticky chicken thighs and drumsticks (cheap), with salad and potatos….nice.

On Sunday we went to Bushey Park, I made an enormous picnic but with lots of things I’d cooked the night before and pork souvlaki (again cheap), salads and lots and lots of water. We did also splash out on a bottle of rose and some coco cola for the children. We had a really lovely picnic, playing football, paddling in the streams and reading the Sunday papers – perfect! We couldn’t stop on the way home at the ice-cream van so Antonis really cried alot. I did go to Sainsburys and buy a box of choc ices – which went down well! I was very lucky with the weather – we wouldn’t have had a family day out to look forward to if the sun hadn’t been shining – my options were totally limited by a lack of cash.

We had to have pasta and pesto for supper and we were all dying for Monday morning to be honest……I have learnt to budget more and be careful but I can’t bear having to live like that….it’s really tough. It has certainly made me think twice about what I am entitled to…unemployment insurance has to be the only way forward. £95 a week for a family of six people is tough.

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Produced for That’s Yummy Mummy by Jess to a brief agreed with Unum. Payment made by Unum restricted to ESA allowance only. All editorial overseen and controlled by Jess

Middway through the Task!

To be honest I find it quite exciting having to survive! I’ve done it most of my life and so I did think we’d be quite good at it….hmmmm. Firstly, with £95 in my sweaty little hand I went shopping to investigate my food for the week options. I went to Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Co-op (Morrissons too far away for petrol there and back). I found a good deal at Tesco which was 3 for £10 on various meats, and an enormous box of washing powder for £5.

Sainsbury’s had a few vegetable and fruit deals which were about £1 a bag and Co-op had 3 for £5 on punnets of fruit and a few other buy 1 get 1 frees – so I did manage to do about a week’s shop for £40 (which is great…but I haven’t told you what we’re eating yet!). No, seriously with some help from Fay Ripley’s Family Food book I managed to rustle up quite a few recipes and so we wont starve…

Petrol is £20 and that means only using the car when necessary so Antonis and I have been cycling wherever possible….The boys have lunch money already paid for so that is good (but if they didn’t and I’d lost my job they may be entitled to free meals? So I’m not counting that). So, I’ve spent £60, it’s Wednesday and we’ve got food till Sunday. Not sure about petrol (and Ant and I don’t go out on the bike if it’s raining), Joe has an optional school trip and needs £18 so he can’t go (well in real life of course he’s going – but you know what I mean?!).

We can’t have any treats…I mean things like DVD from Blockbuster, or a bottle of wine (for me not the kids?!), quick trip to Argos for Ant to top up his enormous toy collection, or coca cola for the children. My friend rang to ask me out to her birthday…I can’t go because I can’t spare the cash. Their football has popped on a thorn so I can’t buy another one and Pavlos needs new school shoes – he’ll have to wait….and my moisturiser has run out and I don’t know if I can squeeze money from our budget so I’ve resorted to using Ant’s baby lotion….

I am looking on the website constantly at the weather forecast as I think our family day out will be a picnic to Bushey Park. I will have to be inventive with food etc and I will also need some money to buy them all an ice-cream….I cannot afford the cinema as that would cost about £50 for all of us (with a Fruit shoot each and 2 packs of Aero bubbles to share). Theme parks – forget it! And despite museums etc being free, our train fares to London would be around £40 – so that’s not an option……

Feeling quite positive right now – but that’s because we’ve got food and cash still – watch this space….!

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Produced for That’s Yummy Mummy by Jess to a brief agreed with Unum. Payment made by Unum restricted to ESA allowance only. All editorial overseen and controlled by Jess

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27th June 11


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Posted by Jess Contomichalos

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