I have been on holiday from work all week this week and up until yesterday I hadn’t spent a penny, my £10 remained quite content in my purse and was remarkably silent, no screaming ‘spend me, spend me’ as soon as I open it, in fact I hadn’t opened it to even check the £10 is still there.
So this week I have discovered that by not going to work I save on petrol, car parking, donations to brown envelopes, and incidentals. I also save on footwear and clothes (both wearing and washing of) and shampoo and conditioner (as I have washed my hair every other day whilst at home). So someone please remind me again why I go out to work it seems cheaper to stay at home LOL!!
Throughout the month I have kept tabs on my spending down to the last penny. I have challenged myself to £10 a week allowance and surprisingly have managed to keep my spending within this limit – so again I ask myself why in the past have I had to withdraw £20 to £30 from the cash card each week and what on earth did I spend it on? Probably all the excess ‘stuff’ I am now trying to get rid of from our house! Stuff in… stuff out – so the brilliant answer to my ‘stuff’ problem is easy isn’t it – don’t buy it in the first place. Why did I not see this before?
I am now learning to transfer the feel good of spending onto the even more feel good of saving. Now I have no wish to be labelled a Scrooge or a tight wad and I am not sure I even like the title penny pinching and scrimping as I have always tried to be a generous person giving my time or money freely as needed. So although it probably all boils down to the same thing I am choosing to become ECONOMICAL instead mainly because the ‘eco’ bit has an important meaning for me in that if I reduce my spending I reduce my stuff and I therefore reduce the amount of eventual landfill rubbish.
In my quest then to become economical I can now tell you the price of a lot of the items in my cupboard and even though my better half thinks I am a bit strange photographing our shopping it does help me to really SEE what my money has been spent on and the percentage of offers per shop that I have been successful in buying.
So this was my final January shopping day so how did I do?
The General Spend – my personal £10 allowance
plus £20 cash towards hair cut
- To add to £20 for hair cut actual costs £22 – £2.00
- Tip for Hairdresser – £2.00 (for a £22 cut and blow dry – is that a usual, generous or mean tip?)
- Hot chocolate treat – £1.79 and 2 Reward points
Balance left for the weekend £4.21
The Weekly Shop
I had everything planned down to the last carrot this week – I set off for Sainsbury’s armed with my meal plan, lunch plan, coupons, list and large note to self – IF IN DOUBT DON’T BUY IT!
Everything started well (as usual), the store was virtually empty without any panic buyers this week (no snow forecast then!) but then the unexpected happened which immediately sends me into a mad flap of indecision and not even the thought of another hot chocolate treat (if I had had the money to buy one) would calm me down. It is always the offers that get me every time. I stand in the isle like a gibbering wreck muttering to myself- ‘Do I or don’t I’ and trying hard to work the unit prices out in my head.
Firstly it was the Mango Chutney (we never eat curry without it) which was on my list as the jar had just been completely emptied the night before. I then discovered it was on offer at a £1 a jar – normally £1.99 – seemed like a bargain to me so I put 3 in my trolley a saving of £2.97 or is it ? when I would only have spent £1 for one and saved myself 99p.
We do use it frequently and should probably be on my stock items list so if it is on the list I am covered as my guidance is I buy stock items on offer…phew…sorted!
Next steering round into the cereal isle I spy the Oatbix flakes still on offer but definitely not on my list. It is a stock item though so I decide to buy another box only £2 saving £0.69p. I have now got a stack of seven boxes in my cupboard and couldn’t possibly get another box in. I just hope I don’t go off them or get an allergy to flakes.
So you get the gist of my dilemmas and to say that overall my weekly shop is much smaller it is taking me twice as long!
Items on Offer
- 1 pack Oatflakes £2.00
- 3 Mango Chutney @ £1.00 each (save £2.97)
- 2 Cartons Passata with Basil 2 for £1.50 (save £0.40p)
- 2 Semi-skimmed milk 2 for £3.00 (save 0.58p)
- 1 Pack Cauliflower and Broccoli £1
- 1 Half Swede reduced to £0.14
- 1 Bag Crisps £1.00 (save £0.50p)
- 2 Alpro Soya Milk 2 for £2 (save £0.70p)
- 2 Organic Wholemeal 2 for £1.50 (save £0.30)
Fruit and Veg
- Bag Organic Carrots 750g £1.30
- Bag Organic Potatoes £3.00
- Bunch Organic Leeks £2.00
- Net of Organic Onions £1.00
- Loose Brussels Sprouts (approx 12) £0.48
- 1 Cabbage Organic £1.40
- 1 Bag organic parsnips £1.50
- 2 bunches organic celery £1.20
- Organic Shell Pasta £1.05
- Decaff Espresso £3.69
- 1 Carton Lentils £0.79
- 1 Carton Butter Beans £0.79
- 1 Tin Baked Beans £0.57
- 1 tin Organic Cocoa £2.20
- 2 Organic Bloomers @ £1.20 £2.40 (misread shelf label – thought these were on offer!)
- 2 box Tissue £2.00
- 1 Ciabbatta loaf as a treat £1.50 to go with the soup
- 1 organic brown rice £1.79
- 1 Organic Coconut milk £2.09 extortionate regrettable bad buy
- 1 small jar Korma paste £1.49
- 1 can Organic baked beans £0.57
- 1 organic mixed bag nuts £3.59
- 2 packs Frozen Pea and Mint Risotto cakes 2 for £4.00 (good standby meal)
- 1 pack Frozen Broad Beans £0.79 with 40 bonuspoints
- 1 large Natural Yoghurt £2.50
- 1 Coleslaw £0.55
- 6 organic medium eggs for baking £1.40
43 items Total Spend £60.82
Reward Points earned 120
Bonus Points for Broad Beans and over £30 spend 160
Bag re-use 4
Total Points balance 2079 worth £10.39
So to recap
I make that a £10 82 overspend this week. If I had not bought the coconut milk and the extra bread that I thought was a two for offer and wasn’t I would have been £4.49 better off. The nuts are expensive at £3.59 but then again we do not eat meat. I added the stand by Risotto cakes £4.00 and not on my list but were on offer and they are handy in case I need a night off cooking.
I have now got a menu plan which will be another post and I have been looking at buying seasonal which will be in more detail there. I did check out the prices for the seasonal produce and to be quite honest it doesn’t appear any cheaper than the non-seasonal. Some items I have bought year round so I might see if I have old receipts so can compare prices. My next step is to compare organic against non-organic not that I would change but can see what the cost would be if I bought non-organic.
I will also post a review for the whole of January when I have totted up.
Next week will be my first February shop and I am determined to get back to my £50 limit…watch this space.