Reducing the Spending…the weekly shop 4#…

Thursday night and it seemed to be panic buying night in Sainsbury’s again – the forecast for the weekend was bleak and there had been an obvious rush for bread , milk and veg.  I decided that I would buy a little more than normal myself of the fresh foods just in case we got snowed in even more.

It has been a crazy week so far with the unpredictability of the weather and also my poor better half has a cold.  I don’t feel I had the same focus on the money and meals and we had the extra cost of having my daughter and partner to stay over theprevious weekend combined with our visit to Shrewsbury last Saturday.

For this I had to draw out £20 from the Cash Card to cover any expenditure over the weekend and I put the £1.33 left from last week in the ‘pot’.

My daughter and her partner joined us on the trip to Shrewsbury and as we are penny pinching here at the moment everyone had to join in so it was sandwiches for lunch, a flask of Hot Chocolate (the only drink we could unanimously agree on) and a trip to the local ‘sit in’ Chippy on the way home (Cost for 4 people £21.90), which we paid for on our debit card.

So how did I do this week?

The General Spend – my personal £10 allowance for the week

I worked from home on Monday and Tuesday due to the heavy snowfall so I didn’t even break into my £10.  On Wednesday morning I took the opportunity to have my cholesterol levels checked in the Sainsbury’s pharmacy on my way to work.  I usually fast but this morning had a small amount of fat free yoghurt to tide me over as I knew I would need the energy tramping through the snow to get to my car.

After having the test I made my way to the cafe for a quick breakfast and had toast, yoghurt and a decaff tea for £2.72 on my gift card and 4 Reward points.  Still had my £10 intact.

Lunch was on the firm that I work for as it was our Staff Conference.  We are provided with an assortment of M&S sandwiches, crisps and fresh orange juice followed by those tiny tray bakes for afterwards, of course you have to be careful you don’t get squashed in the stampede for a free lunch – but I came out of it well fed and hadn’t spent a penny.

Thursday I was late for work because of the snow and didn’t have the time to prepare lunch – I did consider a voluntary fast but in the end hunger overtook and I had to resort to a Baked Potato with Cheese and salad at £3.35 from the local Sandwich shop.

Thursday evening I did the shopping and before I started had my only little treat, a plain hot chocolate £1.79 – using the balance left on the gift card of £1.20 and paid cash 0.59p and received 2 Reward Points.

Out of the £10 I spent

  • Baked Potato    £3.35
  • Hot Chocolate  £0.59

This leaves £6.06 for the weekend.

Out of the £20 cash for the Shrewsbury visit I bought

  • Flowers for the Birthday girl  £5.99
  • Filofax Year Planner  £3.75*

This leaves £10.26 which I will use for next weeks £10 allowance, the 26p can go in the pot.

*I did argue with myself over the Year Planner as £3.75 is quite an outlay now.  Could I do without it?  I like to see the coming months all in one go and map out our weekend visits in and amongst things like birthdays and appointments.  I debated whether I should make one I have done in previous years but cannot do a fold out version like Filofax.  It is something I consult everyday so eventually I declared it a necessity and haven’t regretted my decision (yet!)

The Weekly Shop

Did I mention I had a disaster with my fridge last weekend after filling up with all the veg on Thursday I found on Friday that the temperature was far too cold (dial had been moved perhaps?) bit of a mystery…anyway we ended up with very stiff absolutely frozen Watercress and Spinach.  Most of the other veg although as hard as rocks did thaw out and were still usable.  So to add to what I could salvage is my veg and the rest of the shopping and with prices now too!  I am getting much better at knowing the price of things…go on ask me how much for a bag of Carrots.

Fruit and veg

  • 2 Cooking Apples   £0.91
  • Cauliflower and Broccoli   £1.00
  • Bag Organic Sweet Potatoes   £2.00
  • Bag 3 Mixed Organic Peppers   £2.50
  • Bag Organic Carrots 750g   £1.30
  • Bag Watercress, Spinach and Rocket   £1.50
  • Bag Organic Potatoes 1.5g   £1.69
  • 1 large Organic Avocado   £1.00
  • 1 Box Organic Mushrooms 250g   £1.28
  • 1 Box Organic Tomatoes 400g   £1.75

Store Cupboard

  • Organic Penne Pasta   £1.05
  • Organic Decaff Tea Bags   £2.55
  • Decaff Espresso  x 2 £3.69
  • I bag Organic Sugar   £1.05
  • 1 Carton Lentils  £0.79
  • 1 Tin Baked Beans   £0.57
  • 1 tin Organic Cocoa   £2.20
  • 1 unrefined Organic Olive Oil   £2.49
  • 1 large baked multi seeded loaf   £1.35
  • 1 box Toilet Tissue   £0.69


  • Jarlsberg Cheese   £1.86
  • 1 tub Coleslaw   £0.55
  • 1 tub Nat Yoghurt   £2.50


Items on Offer

  • 2 packs Oatflakes   £2.00each
  • 2 packs Bran Flakes £2.00 each
  • 2 Cartons Passata with Basil 2 for £1.50 (save £0.40p)
  • 2 Semi-skimmed milk  2 for £3.00 (save 0.58p)
  • 2 cartons Lurpack with Olive Oil 2 for £5.00 (save £1.00)
  • 2 Organic Cheese 2 for £4.50 (save £0.80p)
  • 2 x 4 Larger pots Petit Filou 2 for £2.00 (save £1.00)
  • 2 pots pasta sauce 2 for £2.50 (save £0.70p)
  • Sainsbury’s Tissues 2 for £2.00
  • 3 x Simple Anti bacterial Handwash @ £1.00 each   £3.00 (save £3.00)
  • 3 for 2 Wholemeal Rolls   £1.20 (save £0.40p)

My favourite bit of the shopping.  Finding offers is like going for the kill after the hunt (I imagine that is – being veggie I have never hunted) but the satisfaction of not paying full price for something does become quickly obsessive.

I had coupons but not for anything that I had bought nor really wanted this time.  I was overjoyed though to find some discarded ones left in a trolley when I came to put mine away – no guesses where they are now!

Total spent

48 items Total Spend £72.22

Reward Points earned 144

Bag re-use 5

Total Points balance 1793 worth  £8.96

So to recap

Only £22.22 over budget…oops!  This was quite an increase in this weeks shopping for one or two reasons… (and I am desperately trying to justify the amount here)

  1. I will be at home all next week and cannot pop into the shops for any extras
  2. The weather is still bad here with more snow expected…need to make sure we can last out
  3. I took advantage of a few offers on stock items such as the cereals, handwash, tissues and an extra Butter – this alone was £15.
  4. I was quite low on a number of high cost items – Olive oil, Coffee, and some of the veg.

I am now wondering if I can sell something or work some overtime for £22 to cover the overspend or it will be a budget of £28 next time.  I don’t like the look of either.

If I have learnt (learned for the grammarians) anything this week it is Organic Peppers are expensive at the moment and I need to be more observant of price in the veg isle and definitely look into exactly what is seasonal and adjust my meal planning to suit.

I also realise that to do this No/Low spending challenge is challenging and you need to have a slightly obsessive personality – so I’m well suited then.

Only one more week to go this month and then it will be the grand reckoning.  Hope you will have time next week to come shopping with me.




6 thoughts on “Reducing the Spending…the weekly shop 4#…

    1. wherethejourneytakesme Post author

      I eat so many I often think I might turn into one! The cheaper option (had I thought of it at the time) would have been to grab a potato at home to take to work, borrow a knob of someones butter (with permission of course!) and scoop some grated cheese from the fridge and a tomato. I am learning all the time and next time will do better!

  1. Anny

    I’m still with you! Last week was much better than the one before – as I thought, I can’t phase over seven days, but keeping budgeting front of mind is keeping the overall spend well down. I don’t have massive expectations, which probably helps, but for me, this is a very useful exercise and one that I think might be quite enlightening if I keep it up for a few months – then we’ll really see where the money goes.

  2. ~Carla~

    When it comes to groceries, sometimes you can control everything you need to buy. I tend to buy the same veggies each week whether they’re on sale or not… cause I love them and eat lots of them. You did great with your shopping I think! Lots of real, healthy food there! Yum!!

    1. wherethejourneytakesme Post author

      The veggies I find the most difficult because if I see something on offer that I wasn’t going to buy because it wasn’t part of my menu plan I end up in a dilemma – do I change my menu plan to accommodate the offer and try and think of a substitute meal or buy what is on my plan? I am working on the answer!


I would love to hear from you if you would like to leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s