I am definitely getting into the hang of this now and every purchase I make becomes a minor challenge. Firstly I notice the price, then I check out if there is a similar product but cheaper, then I debate if I really need it. It is a bit like mirror, signal, manoeuvre when driving a car.
So how did I do this week?
The General Spend
On Monday morning on my way to work I took out £10 again from the cash point and this is how I spent it during the week.
2 Birthday cards for my mum and mum-in-law – from Clintons Cards 2 x £2 = £4.00 (plus two reward stamps). I really must get down to making some cards – huge savings here to be made.
A packet of coloured paper parcel string for gift wrapping from The Works £0.99p
1 bag organic carrots £1.30
1 bag organic onions £1.00
1 courgette £0.38
1 pack of 2 Ice Cube trays from Poundworld £1.00 (more about these later)
A total spend of £8.67 plus 4 Sainsbury’s Reward points
So I have £1.33 left for the weekend.
I also had my Hot Chocolate treat (£1.79 plus 2 Reward points) before I started the weekly shop tonight bought with my Sainsbury’s Gift card. Only £3.91 left on this now.
If you remember I would normally withdraw £20-£30 each week and buy most of my lunches. I now take my lunch and so I have made savings here of £10 – £20.
The Weekly Shop
This week I had to take into account a possible visit from my daughter and her husband (I say possible as it will be weather dependent!) and a trip to Shrewsbury to see my mum-in-law and celebrate her 89th birthday (again weather dependent). So extra quantities if my daughter comes and a birthday cake to make and a picnic or packed lunch for our trip.
This is what my shopping list looked like.
The planned items
1 box 250g organic White Mushrooms
1 box 300g Portabella Mushrooms
1 bunch organic Spring Onions
1 bunch organic Leeks
1 packet of 3 Courgettes
1 pkt organic Watercress, rocket and spinach leaves
1 organic swede
1 pack of 6 organic Tomatoes
1 pack organic Beetroot
2 large Multi-seeded loaves
1 white organic Bloomer
3 for 2 Rolls (for travel picnic)
2 x 4pts Organic Milk
1 Organic Soya Milk
1 x 1k Organic Low Fat Natural Yoghurt
6 Organic eggs
1 small Coleslaw
Store cupboard items
1 Tin Organic Baked Beans
1 tin Creamed Mushrooms
1 tin Organic Sweetcorn
1 pkt Espresso Ground Coffee
Bought especially for Recipes
1 jar Wholegrain Mustard
1 Bottle Soy Sauce
1 jar Marmite (since when did this go up to £1.70?)
1 Ready roll Puff Pastry
1 Filo Pastry
1 pack Seedmix
1 pot Organic Half Fat Creme Fraiche
1 Organic Feta Cheese
1 carton Double Cream for birthday cake reduced to £0.49
The unplanned but on offer
2 Bran Flakes reduced by 99p each
3 boxes of Tacos Shells on offer 3 for 2 saving £1.54
The Grand Total
£53.37 less a coupon for £2 off (given to me by a colleague at work) and total discounts of £2.52 = a total of £48.85
I had a coupon for double Reward points
Previous balance 1394
Points earned 100
Bag re-use 4
Bonus points 100
New points balance 1598 worth £7.99
So to recap
39 items this week cost me £48.85 with all the discounts and vouchers and I earned 204 points.
I worked out the extra ingredients to cover the food for my daughters visit is £11.94.
My hubby had to get a bag of potatoes from the tiny Sainsbury’s beneath his office in Leeds due to the panic buying tonight at the store I was in – cost £1.90. The shelves had almost been stripped bare of bread, potatoes and milk because of the threatening snow! So added to my spend this increased to £50.75, however I am going to try to make this shop last longer.
My aim is to stay under £40 for all the food shopping which includes adding any fresh veg during the week. Last week I spent in total £43.44 (main shop plus fresh veg during the week). My shop before would have been closer to £80 on a bad week and did not really include my lunches but would have included a magazine or two!!
This week I checked out my basics for offers and found that only the Bran Flakes were reduced so bought another two boxes. The Tacos are not really basics but they do store well and provide an easy meal during the week filled with a chilli or lentil bolognese type mixture.
Having to provide meals for more people certainly has increased my spend this week but I am looking forward to trying out some new more gourmet recipes. Perhaps I should mention that my daughters husband is a professional chef and so I always work myself up into a panic whenever I have to cook for them!
I picked out a couple of recipes to make when (if) my daughter comes, one is a Mushroom Stroganoff with Mustard and Chive Mash and the other is a Spring Onion and Watercress Quiche. I might use the mushrooms to make a Mushroom Strudel instead hence the Filo pastry. The Puff Pastry is for the Freezer. I had to invest in one or two items to make the recipes, like the soy sauce and mustard but they are things that I can use in other meals.
I was very pleased with myself for staying clear of the magazines and came up with a brilliant idea to satisfy my addiction that costs me nothing – but this will be another post.
How are you doing with your Low / No spend ?