Monday Money #85 Feed Your Family for £20 a Week

Hurrah for the last week of January, maybe some of you have now been paid, or pay day will be here this week. Things are a bit different for me being freelance where my invoices are paid at various times during the month. Every time I am paid I move money into different pots, monthly bills, tax, holiday fund, pension, investments. And then at the end of the month I pay myself by moving money into the various account that pay for these things.

This month was a bit of a shocker month as Christmas & Dec (credit card but paid in full) was paid for and my personal tax bill was paid. I am now £4k poorer. All was money that I had set aside as I knew the bills were coming but it doesn’t make it any less painful to make the payment.

Finding hidden money

Towards the end of each month I always do a check of the many places and find hidden money. It might accounts I have opened to test them out, or referral accounts. I have had a bounty of finding bits and pieces of money this month which has added up to a nice bonus to my current account.

Monzo account – £50 balance moved back to current account

Plum Investment – £33 moved back to current account and account closed

Check 20 cogs balance – £13 moved back to current account

Top Cash Back Money – £65 moved to current account 

Giving me an extra boost to my bank balance of £161. Its always worth checking all of those random accounts or services you might have signed up to at the end of each month.

I have left my Chip savings untouched, as much as I might need this money I am staying strong and leaving it stashed away until Christmas. So far I have auto-saved £175. This is money leaving my current account without me noticing. Fancy a £10 free boost to your balance? Sign up to chip here, don’t forget to use the code Mummypenny10. You will get a free £10 added after 2 auto-transfers. BONUS! Chip originally gave me this offer for January but have decided to let me keep it until the end of February for my wonderful readers.

Smart Meter Savings

I do some case study work with Smart Energy GB who are the team behind the smart meter roll out in the UK. Before Christmas they took some photos and a video of us at home using our smart meter and talking about how it has saved us money as a family.

I have written a post about it here, listing all of the many ways the smart meter has made a difference to us as a family. From giving us extra information, leading to a change in behaviour and money saving. All the way through to being the catalyst for greater environmental changes.

Ten Year Financial Plan

I also wrote my first post of 2020 in collaboration with PensionBee. You will be seeing so much insightful and useful content this year. PensionBee are a company who I entrust with my Pension money and have the best relationship with. I have done video work, appeared on their advertising bill board campaign and much content on their website and here on mine. They really are a brand that I love and trust.

I have put some serious thought into my ten year financial plan. I have looked at what I will contributing to my pensions and investments. Also looking into mortgage over-payments and the stability of an emergency fund. Have a read and see what you would do in your ten-year plan.

Feed Your Family for £20 a week

I have been working hard to cut back the grocery spend in January and have done really very spending money on two big Aldi shops for the boys food and my mindful chef boxes for my healthy eating. I was very excited to be sent a copy of the book by Lorna Cooper – Feed Your Family for £20 a week. (Link to buy book from Orion Books, not an affiliate link) It is packed full of inspirational, budget friendly meals. I now have a long list of ideas and a meal plan ready for the next time I go to Aldi shopping.

feed your family for £20 a week

My favourite dinners include cheesy lentil bake, yum especially good for my new found love of lentils. Sausage meatloaf will be an absolute hit with the boys. Bacon, cheese and veg hotpot looks amazing and will certainly be a hit with the boys. The pasta dishes are providing me with much excitement as until now I have much been a spag bol person and not much else. there is creamy cajun chicken pasta, sausage pasta bake and the gnocchi looks divine.

We have tried to make one thing so far, Josh chose honeycomb. Slight baking fail from me, always use the ingredients stated in the recipe. It said caster sugar, I thought granulated sugar would do the job. No. Very flat honey comb that ended up stuck to the pan (but actually tasted yummy once pealed off!) . Baking fail!!

Feed your family for £20 a week


Home Hair Colouring

I have been home colouring my hair for years now but have decided that I want to go back to a natural colour rather than red or purple. I am off to my hairdresser on Wednesday but in preparation and to save me lots of money she advised to remove all my colour before seeing her. This has saved me around £40 in hairdressing cost all for the £10 cost of the colour removing chemicals from Boots.

Here is the before and after. The process worked. All the colour is now removed and my hair has gone back to its ‘natural’ colour of blond/red, with so many greys on the top of my head. Like so many.

Follow my instastories to see what my hair looks like on Wednesday.

Making Money on Quiz Shows

I attended an audition this week for a TV quiz show. You will remember back in November my appearance on The Chase was finally aired. Where I didn’t win anything! Once the appearance has made it onto TV you are then free to apply to other shows. So I have. I cant say which one, but its a good one. And hopefully I will have a better chance of winning the money!

I filled in the application a couple of weeks ago, had a phonecall interview. Soon after I was then invited into London for an audition where I did a 20 question quiz and spoke to the camera about myself for a couple of minutes and to the crowd of 20 other audition people. I find out by March if I have been successful..please quiz lords let me have another chance at winning a TV quiz show!

As always with Monday money I may feature links to posts where I have been paid or affiliate links where I receive a small fee if you choose to sign up. Thank you if you do.


More to explore


Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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3 Responses

  1. This month I am returning to a ploy that is used for years! I overpay my utility bills each month so that by Christmas I have no utility bills to pay. This is just a little thing but a great way to have that little extra to spend on family gifts.

    When I had a mortgage I did this too so there was an extra month at Christmas. But one year I didn’t do it as it felt good to have paid an extra month so I continued! My seven year mortgage was paid in full earlier and that gave me one extra year with salary before retirement! Bonus!

    1. This is a great idea! Perfect to time it at Christmas time. Have to say I love Feb and March when there are no council tax bills to pay.

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