The Cost of Food and Childcare

Who would have thought it so expensive to live? If I was to be a stay at home mummy we would have £30 free cash floating about a week to pay for everything other than food, council tax, water, TV and mortgage. So, anyhow being forced back into the workplace (thank you Labour Party) has resulted in a crash course in childcare. The options are frankly endless on what you can or cant do, the only stable variable is the cost £5.25- £6.50 per hour. That amounts to a lot of money per child. Childcare Voucher Scheme I hear you screaming, well yes, that will go towards making, ummm, lets see, one day a reasonable price.

As the debt had already built a bit, this week I have been a mummy with £25 to feed and entertain a family of four. I have mainly been using up rations stored in the cupboard. But flippin’ heck its hard. I am in awe of those people that manage it. The main meal menu is as follows;
Fish fingers and Chips
Macaroni Cheese
Vegetarian Pasta
Shepherds Pie

Lunches have been on a theme of leftovers and cheese and bread. There has been fruit for the kids and some yogurt for their desert. Breakfast cereals and toast have been enjoyed. I have to admit that I was hungry when I went to bed on Sunday. But this probably did me good. In the main, I think we have eaten quite well. We haven’t gone out far, saving petrol and those little treat expenses.

I would advise everyone to have a go at budgeting like this, it really focuses the mind.

Anyhow, back to childcare options, well, if you are in a similar position I suggest you get hold of a copy of the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidelines. This will enable you to gauge how well places are actually doing what it required of them. Its available from the Department for Children Families and Schools. If you live in St Albans, then I suggest you do all of this before you actually get pregnant and as soon as you do, put your name down for a good nursery. Waiting lists for the best are incredibly long.

What am I doing? Well, the childminder seems the best option for us. With me actually becoming a childminder on the days which I am off work, to cover some of the childcare fees. This will leave me with a reasonable salary. I will be exhausted, so I shan’t be able to do any shopping. Saving money all round! More on this to come.

12 thoughts on “The Cost of Food and Childcare”

  1. I feel you're pain, I couldn't afford to go back full time because of the cost of childcare but the people I worked for couldn't accomodate p/time hours. I'm now looking for work but its tough going with little money coming in from me. I'm grateful its now gettong colder lots of stews etc with cheap cuts of meats

  2. Oh Sweetie…it is rough isn't it? Perhaps a Credit Crunch support group is in order? I admire you doing what has to be done. We have to tighten more but I'm struggling. I do hate not shopping for anything any more. I hate not being able to buy just anything for Little Miss. But it helps doing the reviews cuz we get things we'd never have gotten. I'll email you as well, I

  3. Paying for childcare for 2 kids at same time is expensive. I used to rely on family quite a lot so I didn't need to put them in paid childcare every day of the week or I'd have had no money left. And I still didn't manage without getting into debt. I hope you find a reliable childminder and enjoy getting back to work.

  4. I worked as a childminder for a year after the 5 year old was born. I had to give up when I was pregnant with the 3 year old and we sold our house and moved into a rental house to fund a new business.<br><br>I had to do courses, the house had to be checked and I had to spend quite a bit of money on toys, creative supplies, stair gates etc. There was some funding and because the 5 year old was

  5. Its so tough isn&#39;t it – its almost as if childcare is designed to take up the majority of what you&#39;ll earn making the decisions even harder (and who wants to work for what is effectively peanuts ?)<br><br>One small suggestion? Have you looked at nanny shares – with such pressure on childcare a few of my mummy friends have found it cheaper and more flexible to share a nanny with another

  6. Talk to my wife at the children&#39;s centre in Fleetville, she may have some childcare contacts you could use. It does get a bit better once the kids are at school! (After school activities are cheaper than many other schemes as we&#39;re finding!)

  7. When I was young my mum was looking after me and my brother on our own and I remember my favourite meal was rice, baked beans and chopped up sausages. It was only when I was older and living on my own that I came to appreciate that this was probably one of the cheapest meals she could make us. I loved it though!

  8. I was so glad when the husband decided he was going to work from home and we could finally ditch the childminder who was reasonable (in price and childcare) at best. We&#39;ve been lucky that when he&#39;s needed someone to take the boy, there&#39;s always been family around. <br>Now with a new one on the way and the husband working in the cafe, it&#39;s not going to be so easy. I&#39;m

  9. Same here hunny – husband has at present no job so stay at home dad he is. I also have planned food all this week up to tonight.<br>Kids are getting yogs or some fruit (Lidl) for puddings. Eldest daughter always moaning she is hungry but I just offer toast to her and send her off to bed.<br>I think we eat more nowadays than when I was younger because I sure as hell don&#39;t remember having

  10. It&#39;s a weird world .. <br>If I go back to work we would lose money, We&#39;re better off me being a stay at home mother. We&#39;re struggling with money as it is but if I was to go to work to earn some we would struggle even more!!<br>I don&#39;t get how it all works!!

  11. In the women&#39;s liberation movement the enemy was women being forced to do anything. In many cases it was the feeling they were forced to be home and not allowed into professions. But we have gone way too far the other way, now forcing women, again, but this time forcing them to leave home and the children. Both extremes are completely unfair to true freedom and the longterm solution is to

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