Finally won the First Utility battle!!

Well my email to the CEO of First Utility did the trick. I had contact the following day, and on Friday they called to tell me my account was now up to date and I didn’t owe them anything. Massive relief, but it turned out they owed me money – hundreds!! this is because the Ombudsman ruled in my favour and applied the principle of back billing, meaning they could only bill me for the last year . So I basically have had 6 months gas and electricity refunded. I am so thrilled. They have given me so much stress with their total incompetence that I feel it is the least they can do. It is a shame I had to fight them for so long and write to the CEO to get a resolution though. Best of all, Christmas is now sorted and I have no worries about paying for it.

However, I still need to watch every penny, of course. This week I did a small shop in Aldi and also got an order from Approved Foods. Ridiculously cheap!! I don’t eat a lot of convenience food usually, but the odd jar of sauce does make life easier if I am late back from work or rushing out to yoga. I bought 5 jars of curry and casserole sauces, some pastry mixes, loads of crumble topping mixes as it was such a bargain, and some batter mixes. I have never used these before, but will give them a try as they were such a good price. I bought a few other bits and treats too, including some small gifts that I will put aside for stocking fillers for Christmas. Yes, I know it is only August, but I need to start early to spread the cost! Even with my energy bill rebate I can’t afford to rest on my laurels.

Hopefully this order will help me keep food costs to the minimum over the next month or so. I still have quite a lot of vegetables growing in the garden, although the courgettes are almost finished. I have masses of tomatoes, quite a lot of beans, swiss chard, a few corn on the cobs, celeriac, lettuce and some cucumbers, so I really don’t need to buy much in the way of veg. I have also been given cooking apples, greengages and plums, so we are doing quite well for fruit too. I must get out and do some more blackberrying!

I had Mr Shoestring’s brother and his partner over for lunch today. She suffers from coeliac’s disease so it had to be gluten free. I did a roast because that’s pretty easy, and made an apple and blackberry crumble (foraged and donated fruit) using gluten free flour and baking powder. It was really nice – a crumblier texture than crumble topping made with wheat flour but very good nonetheless. I told her about Approved Foods, as they often seem to have gluten free food on there.

So, a pretty frugal and satisfying weekend. How about you?

6 thoughts on “Finally won the First Utility battle!!

  1. thrift deluxe

    Congratulations, glad your determination paid off.

    Our weekend wasn’t particularly inexpensive, but we did make the most of everything available to us so I won’t complain as it was a wonderful and productive couple of days.


    Perseverance paid off which is good news, I expect they think most people will just give up.

  3. Joyful

    Well done on saving money from the utility company. I recently (August and earlier months) also saved hundreds of dollars with the telephone company. These companies are so incompetent and inefficient these days that I feel they should pay us money for the time wasted. There is no chance of that so the next best thing is getting money back! Keep up your frugal ways 🙂

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