Entertaining cheaply

We don’t go out much – it’s so expensive!! When we see friends we usually eat in. Tonight I have ‘the girls’ round. We do this every couple of months and take it in turns to cook.

I am trying to save as much money as I can for our holiday next month, so I won’t be going crazy with the expense. I am also at work all day so I won’t have a great deal of time!! On the menu we have butternut squash soup with crusty baguettes (made last night. The baguettes are the bake at home variety so I shall do those later); Jamie’s chicken tray bake (I make this a lot and it is reliably delicious and quick to prepare) with some sugar snap peas and broccoli; fruit salad and cream (I am still off the sugar).

I have a bottle of Prosecco in the fridge from my birthday and everyone will bring wine anyway. I also have some nibbles from Lidl to kick things off. OK, so it’s not Cordon Bleu, but it will be fun!!

I hope I’m not too bleary eyed as I have promised to drive my daughters to a boot sale on Saturday morning. I am doing well with my eBay sales, which all helps the holiday fund along.

Did anyone who is based in the UK watch ‘How to Live Mortgage Free’ on Channel 4 a couple of nights ago? I thought it was very interesting. There was a young lady who bought the shell of a boat and converted it into a house boat so that she could remain living in London – this cost her £33,000 in all, a chap who had purchased an old tin chapel with £50,000 cash from the sale of his previous home and a young family who had lived a super frugal existence for 8 years to pay their £240,000 odd mortgage off quickly, thus saving themselves around £200k in interest charges!!

I wish I had considered that paying off the mortgage early was even a thing when I was younger. I fell into the trap of thinking I had to move onwards and upwards, seeing each house as a step towards a bigger and better house and re-mortgaging many times to make home improvements. It was what everybody else was doing and it never occurred to me that there was a better way.  I will pay my current small mortgage off as soon as I can but I can’t help having a few regrets about my previous lack of financial education. Still, I am making up for it now!!

I really admired the creativity and determination of those featured and can’t wait for the next one.


12 thoughts on “Entertaining cheaply

  1. I also loved that tv programme. The family who over paid their mortgage were very savvy! When our 3 children were still at home we never had many spare funds to overpay – but can see the benefits of doing so. I’m grateful that we stayed put in our modest home and never went for bigger – we could downsize now but strangely it would cost more!!

  2. It sounds like a great programme . I must look it up. Yes I wish there was more info on frugal living when I was younger. I think it’s becoming much more mainstream now…due to the times I suppose.
    It’s got to be good that at least some people are trying to be less wasteful of resources.
    I’m in the same situation as you now as we have booked a rare foreign holiday too. With 5 of us it’s a big expense but it’s my hubby’s big 5.0. and our 20th wedding anniversary within days of each other so we decided to have a modest splurge ( it’s budget to most folk) . I worry about spending so much money but hopefully it will be a memorable trip the boys appreciate and we all enjoy. I’ll be extra careful in the coming weeks so I can build up the spending money and not have to resort to credit cards (as I have done in the past)
    Thanks for all your inspiring posts
    Jacquie x

  3. I hope you enjoy your girls night in. The menu sounds wonderful. I wish I could have seen that program. It is nice to know people are getting creative and being frugal in order to pay off mortgages. When I was in my twenties, the grandparents had a mortgage burning party to celebrate the fact that the house purchased in their retirement belonged to them and not the bank. They had been government workers and frugal their whole lives, marrying during the Great Depression. It was from them that I first learned about saving and the lessons have stood with time.

  4. I watched “How to live Mortgage Free” and I had the same thoughts as you. Wished I’d been more money savvy when I was younger. I too am making up for it now. Also wished I’ d managed to save my Family Allowance. Wow! That would be an amazing amount now. Sadly I had to use it. I know some people who put it into a savings account or some sort. Ah well we live and learn.

    • Don’t be upset about not having saved your Family Allowance, Chris. This was given to parents because it was appreciated that they needed the money for day-to-day expenses when they had children. You did what you had to do, used it for necessary things for the family. If people could save this money, then while it was their right to have it, they obviously didn’t need it. You did.
      Margaret P

  5. I also watched “How to Live Mortgage Free” and was impressed by the young family who paid off their mortgage early. I think if you could afford higher mortgage payments most people would buy a bigger house, or one in a “better” area instead!
    Oh to have been a young and free spirit like the girl who did up the boat! 😀 Good for her.
    I hope she doesn’t move the boat one day to find the moorings have been sold off, or drastically risen in price upon her return – as happens all too frequently in London! :/ I was shocked that a typical mooring in London was 10 times more expensive than elsewhere, though I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. Nothing is cheap here. 🙁

    Enjoy your Girl’s Night In! 🙂

  6. No point in living in the past.
    At 25 I had an endowment mortgage grrrr for 10 years ouch, never claimed ouch again.
    Spent every penny of salary, taxis to and from work, carry outs, cleaner. Thought was the way to live oh well s the past. Hundreds on nights out and new clothes, cause I deserved them …eeeeeeeek.
    5 years of extreme frugality house will soon be mine, learn,t just in time.xx

  7. I saw the programme too and was very impressed. Wished they had said a bit more about the family who “simply” overpaid their mortgage – what it entailed exactly. My husband left me when I was 51, divorced at 53 so ended up starting again with a 17 year mortgage just to keep my home. BUT he was the spendthrift so I went through all our/my bills and cut everything that wasn’t important to me (Sky TV, fancy phones etc.) and have been overpaying the mortgage for 3 years. According to moneysavingexpert I will have saved around 70,000 euros in interest and cut nearly 8 years off the mortgage by doing this. I only used their calculator as if I started overpaying this month though so in reality I reckon I will save nearer 100,000 euros rather than the 70,000 and cut off 8 years. I’m delighted and to be honest it hasn’t even been that painful. My ex, on the other hand, will never have his mortgage (in the U.S.) paid off. Karma much? Anna

  8. Although we ate out a fair bit when both working full time, we do so a lot less often now. I prefer to go out for lunch and often there are special lunchtime menus which are less expensive. However, I love entertaining so I like to invite friends round for a meal. I enjoy sometimes doing a themed evening such as tapas, Spanish wine and music.
    One of my biggest regrets is not being more careful with money during those years when our income was good. We did overpay on our mortgage for several years and reduced the term from 19 to 14 years by doing so. However, I was a ‘fritterer’ of money, always buying bits and pieces and clothes, shoes etc. I also regularly bought food in M&S, which I don’t do very often nowadays. I know that I could have been more careful.

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